Image copyright Navjot Altaf and The Guild
  Navjot Altaf at                                
14th Curitiba International Biennial

Open Borders

Curated by
Adolfo Montejo Navas and Tereza  de Arruda.

21 September 2019 to 23 February 2020

Announcing Navjot Altaf’s participation at the 14th Curitiba International Biennial 

The Guild Art Gallery is pleased to share the news that Navjot Altaf’s video titled Water Weaving has been chosen to be exhibited at the 14th Curitiba International Biennial at Brazil. The Curitiba Biennial titled ‘Open Borders’ opens on September 21st 2019 and continues until February 23rd 2020. This event is jointly curated by Adolfo Montejo Navas and Tereza de Arruda.


Water Weaving

Water Weaving 
is a single channel colour projection with sound (duration 18.50 minutes). Produced in the year 2005 it has been exhibited previously at various venues including Spazio Oberdan, Milan, the Talwar Gallery, New York and Sakshi Gallery Mumbai.

The video is based on a myth about the origin of weaving, as narrated by a weaver, Sukhman, from Nagarnar, a weavers village which has been affected by Land acquisition procedures for the steel plant by the Central government and its recent privatization move, further sensitizing the already sensitized zone. 

Nancy Adajania writes,

“Navjot’s meditative video-poem returns grace and dignity to the figure of the artisan, not by creating a ‘work of art’, but by reflecting consciously on the act of labour itself. This lyrical account has a philosophical density that will outlive an anthropologist’s limited scrutiny, a developmentalist’s weakness for value judgment. The world is marked by many lines that need to be wiped out, many rips in the cloth that require mending. Like Navjot, we could begin by drawing the lines in reverse and in doing so, erase them”.


About Navjot Altaf

One of India‘s leading contemporary artists, Navjot Altaf is a major artistic voice in postcolonial Indian art, her work is known both nationally and internationally and her nearly five decade-long practice involves painting, sculptures, installations, video and site-specific works that negotiate various disciplinary boundaries. Her methodology ascertains the interactive aspects of collaboration and the work emerges out of an extended dialogical interaction with a diverse range of people including artists of Indigenous origin (since 1997) in Chhattisgarh, Central India, intellectuals, filmmakers, academics and activists. Through these collaborations, her work speaks expansively and sensitively about the socio-political conditions of the world we find ourselves in, causing us to reflect on the internal and external conflicts we face whilst making meaning of our contexts. She is interested in understanding the significance of transdisciplinary work “whose nature is not merely to cross disciplinary boundaries”.

Navjot has been participating in national and international seminars Including Anthropocene Curriculum at the House of World Culture, Berlin, (2014 and 2016) and Goethe Institute Mumbai (2018).

Her numerous solo exhibitions in and outside India and her participations include, ‘Samakaalik: Earth Democracy and Women Liberation’,
PAV Parco Arte Vivente, Turin, Italy (2019);  Kb19 ‘Flight Interrupted: Eco-leaks from the Invasion Desk’ Karachi (2019); ‘Open Borders’ Curitiba Biennial, Brazil (2019); Second edition of Chennai Photo Biennale, India (2019); ‘The Earth’s Heart, Torn Out’ Navjot Altaf:  A Life in Art, A retrospective, NGMA  Mumbai in collaboration with The Guild (2018-19); ‘Starting from the Desert - Ecologies on the Edge’,  Yinchuan Biennale, China (2018); 'Landscape as Evidence : Artist as Witness’, KHOJ, New Delhi, India (2017); ‘Stretched Terrains - Interpositions: Replaying the Inventory’,  Kiran Nadar Museum of Art New Delhi, India (2017); ‘Why Not Ask Again’,

11th Shanghai Biennale (2016); ‘Making Sense of Crisis - Art as Schizoanalysis’, KHOJ, New Delhi, India (2015); ‘Dead Reckoning: Whorled Explorations’, second edition of the Kochi-Muziris  Biennale, Kochi, India (2014); ‘Is it what you think?’, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India ( 2014). 

She is one of the founder members of a center ‘Dialogue - interactive Artists Association’, Kondagaon, Chhattisgarh. Has organized Seminars /discussions Samvad 1’ (2007), Samvad 2’ (2011) Samvad 3’ (2015), and Samvad 4’ (2019), at ‘Dialogue’.

Navjot’s work has been written about and curated by some of the art world‘s best, including Nancy Adajania who has written a definitive study of her practice  – The Thirteenth Place: Positionality as Critique in the Art of Navjot Altaf – placing it in multiple art historical and political contexts; Geeta Kapur, Roobina Karode, Grant Kester, Elena Bernardini and  Leon Tan.

Lives and works in Mumbai and Bastar, India.


About The Guild

Established in 1997 in Mumbai, India, The Guild Art Gallery has been focussing on discovering, promoting and exhibiting emerging and mid-career and senior Indian artists. The gallery has been providing platform for discursive practices, innovation and experimentation by functioning as a semi-institutional space. It believes in promoting critical and rigorous practices and ideas and our programming reflects this critical practice. Our exhibitions are planned with public outreach activities like film screenings, artists’ workshops, studio workshops, panels and talks. We believe in building an extensive scholarship on art and have continuously been publishing critically acclaimed books and catalogues authored by well-known academicians and art critics. The forthcoming exhibitions include the retrospective of artist Sudhir Patwardhan: 
Walking Through Soul City, Sudhir
Patwardhan: A Retrospective, curated by Nancy Adajania at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai.

For further information please write to us at

the_guild2003@yahoo.co.in, theguildart@gmail.com

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