Vervemagazine.in November 2014
Concerned with water, a deep desire to investigate, immerse and experiment, Atul Bhalla’s show in Delhi is stark and moving
1964-born, Delhi and USA educated, Atul Bhalla is deeply interested in the environment particularly the eco-politics of water. His conceptual art creates an engagement with urban and metropolitan spaces, particularly those in his home city of New Delhi. He is also known as an environmental activist on the basis of his preoccupation with the distribution, regulation, commoditisation and pollution of water – and yet he stays on the right side of social concern. Bhalla describes his practice as an attempt to understand water, the way he perceives it, feels it, drinks it, swims in it and sinks in it. Possibly, with the world losing sight of the water crises, with the immense wastage of natural resources in movements like the Ice Bucket Challenge, it is prudent to have a speaker for the precious resource.
5 Questions with the artist, Atul Bhalla
1. Artistic Motivations “It’s the deep desire to investigate, experiment, immerse, push boundaries and communicate…to say it my way.”
2. Inspirations “Jeff Wall, Francis Alys, Andrei Tarkovsky, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Wislawa Szymborska, Fyodor Dostoevsky.”
3. On the wall at home “Francis Bacon, Giacometti, Gerard Richter, Tacita Dean, Jeff Wall, Francis Alys.”
4. Concerns that find place in your art “Water!”
5. If you weren’t an artist, you would be…“Still an artist!”
Ya Ki Kuchh Aur runs until January 2, 2015 at Vadehra Art Gallery, D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi.