CAMP | As If – I | Rock, Paper, Scissors: Experimenter – Hindustan Road

7 January - 10 February 2015

As If is the title of a series of exhibitions by CAMP in early 2015. Retrospective in spirit, these shows gather for the first time in solo exhibition form many of the artworks and ideas crafted by CAMP as a group since 2007, and by its constituent individuals since 2002.

“In expressions like Kelucharan as Radha, TV as a Fireplace or Seeing it as a Rabbit, we see the key role of the small word as. As carries mimesis, metaphor, selection, or adaptation – so many of the classic powers of art. As If is riskier, more tensile. It reaches for things that have receded from the senses, or that are 'so close, yet so far'. Or that can be thought of and said, but not easily done. As If suggests semblance, structures and desires stretched in both directions: more unlikely, more utopian, but also more concrete, more realised. As If is a two-way bridge between imagination and intimacy.” – CAMP

As If I-IV is a survey of CAMP’s unique work and working methods, in a series of exhibitions across Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai.

Experimenter presents the first in the series of four shows. In Rock, Paper, Scissors, the roles of subject, medium and author are rearranged, and they struggle with each other on an equal plane. In a sculptural piece, video is seen as a physical force producing sensuality, difference and movement. Next to this, a collaboration unfolds in a large mall covering a city-centre, in which security people, members of the public and 208 cameras are participants. A third work jujitsus television sets, CCTV and neighbours to reconfigure space, speech and hierarchy in a Delhi neighbourhood.

Windscreen (Trap version) 2002
Capital Circus 2008
Khirkeeyaan 2006

These are early, formative works by members of CAMP. The first work Windscreen is from 2001, and has never been recreated until now. It is a physical manifestation of video and its pixels. The second, Capital Circus, took place as a series of events recorded by CCTV inside the largest mall in Europe, in Manchester UK. The resultant film has been exhibited widely including at the MoMA, Anthology Film Archives and Flaherty Seminar, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Henie Onstad Kunst Center, Oslo and Nottingham Contemporary. The third project, Khirkeeyaan was made in the Khirkee neighbourhood of New Delhi in 2006, during a residency at Khoj. It involves neighbours talking to each other over their household televisions. Khirkeeyaan won an honorary mention at Ars Electronica in 2006, and was part of a historical survey of 'artists interventions into self-broadcasting', at the AV Festival in 2008. It has been seen at the Power Plant Toronto, the Kunstsammlung Dusseldorf, the Frankfurt Kunstverein, Cornerhouse Manchester, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, Sarai New Delhi etc., It was recently part of Tales from the Networked Neighborhood: The Cinema of CAMP at filmmaker festival, Milan.

Together these works lay out the groundwork for CAMP's practice and serve as a starting point to the series of exhibitions that follow. Part II Flight of the Black boxes in Delhi will enter technologies' black boxes, troubling and expanding them to produce new possibilities. It will include a new work on the facade of the building. Part III Country of the Sea will showcase CAMP's widely travelled feature film, From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf inside the Bhau Daji Lad museum and finally, Part IV Night for Day choreographs nocturnal public art projects from the past decade in a transforming environment at Chemould Prescott Road.

CAMP is a collaborative studio founded in Bombay in 2007. It has been producing fundamental new work in video and film, electronic media, and public art forms, in a practice characterised by a hand-dirtying, non-alienated relation to technology. CAMP's projects have entered many modern social and technical assemblies: energy, communication and surveillance systems, neighbourhoods, ships, archives – things much larger than itself. These are shown as not having a fixed function or destiny, making them both a medium and stage for artistic activity.

CAMP’s work has been shown in venues such as Khoj, Sarai, Lalit Kala Akademi and NGMA New Delhi, MoMA and New Museum New York, Serpentine Galleries and Gasworks London, Ars Electronica Linz, HKW Berlin, MoMA Warsaw, Askhal Alwan Beirut, Experimenter Kolkata and Documenta 13 Kassel; in the streets and markets of Bangalore, San Jose, Dakar, Mexico City, East Jerusalem, Delhi and Bombay; in the biennials of Shanghai, Sharjah, Gwangju, Taipei, Singapore, Liverpool and Kochi-Muziris; at film venues such as the AV Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Viennale, Flaherty Seminar, Anthology Film Archives, and CAMP’s own rooftop cinema. From their home base in Chuim village, they co-host the online and, among other long-duree activities.