Else, all will be still

  Ravi Agarwal
  October 11 - December 2, 2015

Notes from October 2013 to August 2015

Ravi Agarwal, Rhizome, archival photographic print
Image copyright: Ravi Agarwal


Ravi Agarwal: Else, all will be still

October 11– December 2, 2015

The Guild - Alibaug

1028, Ranjanpada

Next to Sai Mandir

Mandwa Alibaug Road

Alibaug  - 402201

Hours: All days, 10-6.30 pm


theguildart@yahoo.com / theguildart@gmail.com



The Guild Art Gallery is proud to present Ravi Agarwal’s new works in Else, all will be still, in his second solo exhibition with the gallery from October 11 – December 2, 2015. Previewing on Saturday, October 10, 12 noon to 4 pm. the exhibition is an outcome of Ravi’s endeavour to comprehend the current ecological and political issues in his dual roles as  artist and activist.  Ravi writes, ‘Two years back, I had a close encounter with the sea, a first for an inland urban person. It continues. The ‘ground’ changing experiences, led me to further my ongoing explorations about the man-nature relationship and the question – What is nature?


The pursuit revealed new ways of imagining. I was led to ancient Tamil Sangam akam love poetry, where five landscapes. Kurinji - mountains,Mullai - forests, Marutam – agricultural lands, Neithal - sea, Palai – desert,  became an internal terrain of feelings - sexual union, yearning, sulking, pining, and separation, through its short direct verse.  The outside became inside as object and subject co-formed each other. 


Today, the planet is in an ecological crisis. Nature has been reduced to an object which can only be ‘acted’ upon through it being ‘extracted,’ ‘admired,’ ‘enjoyed,’ etc. but not  ‘lived’ with. The relationship is one of power. Capitalism, technology, mass production, resource exploitation, all have prospered though this positioning. Wilderness has been privatized, forests fenced, rivers tamed, and animals made extinct. There seems no going back from consumption, and progress. It is the age of the power of man, the Anthropocene. No one can guarantee future survival.


The entrenched oppositional binary needs to be questioned and other positions with nature recovered. Deluze’s with his idea of positive difference, Guattari’s thesis on three ecologies, Tim Morton’s rejection of ‘nature’ itself, or the Buddhist proposition of a non-dual self, offer clues to where one can look. Nature defined merely by science needs to be read alongside ideas of mortality, fragility, vulnerability, balance, equity and democracy.


The works are an outcome of my struggle to comprehend the times we inhabit.  Fishermen friends helped me navigate new waters. The ever changing sea led me to these explorations. Urgency is in the air. Else, all will be still.’  



The exhibition will feature new photographs, video, and installations. The online catalogue will include texts by curator Deeksha Nath and writer Renuka Sawhney.


Ravi Agarwal is a photographer artist, writer, curator and environmental activist. He explores issues of urban space, ecology and capital in an interrelated ways working with photographs, video, performance, on-site installations and public art.  Agarwal  has  participated  in  several  international  shows  including documenta  XI  (Kassel  2002),  Sharjah  Biennial  11  (2013);  ‘Zones  of  Contact:  Propositions  on  the Museum’, co-curated by  Vidya  Shivadas,  Akansha Rastogi, Deeksha  Nath, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Noida,  2013; ‘The  Needle  on  the  Gauge:  The  Testimonial  Image  in  the  works  of  Seven  Indian Artists’, curated by Ranjit  Hoskote, Contemporary Art Centre of SA, Adelaide,  Australia,  2012; ‘Newtopia’, curated  by  Katerina  Gregos,  various  Museum  venues,  Mechelen,  Belgium,  2012;  ‘Critical  Mass, Contemporary Art  from India’,  curated by  Tami Katz-Freiman and Rotem Ruff,  Tel  Aviv  Museum of  Contemporary Art,  Israel, 2012; ‘Z.N.E!,  Examples to Follow’,  curated by Adrienne Goehler,  traveling exhibition, Berlin, Mumbai,  Adis Ababba,  Beijing;  ‘Horn Please,’ Kunstmuseum, Bern, 2007, curated by Bernhard Fibicher and Suman Gopinath; ‘Indian Highway’ 2009 , Serpentine Gallery, curated byJulia Peyton-Jones, Hans Ulrich Obrist  ; ‘Generation in Transition: New Art from India,’ Zacketa  National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland, and Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania  curated by Magda Kardasz;  ‘The Eye is a Lonely  Hunter:  Images  of  Humankind,’ at  Fotofestival  Mannheim_ludwigshafen_Heidelberg,  curated by Katerina Gregos and Solvej Helweg Ovesen;  ‘After  the Crash’ at Museo Orto Botanico, Rome.  His recent solo shows being ‘Of Value and Labour’, at The Guild, Mumbai, 2011;  ‘Flux: Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia,’ Gallery Espace, New Delhi.  Agarwal recently co-curated  a twin city public art project, Yamuna-Elbe.Public.Art.Outreach.  He writes extensively on ecological issues, and is also founder of the leading Indian environmental NGO, Toxics Link. He is an engineer by training.


For more information please contact teamattheguild@gmail.com


We look forward to welcome you at The Guild.





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