PARTICIPANT / Nikhil Chopra

  • Name Nikhil Chopra
  • Country India
  • Vocation Artist
  • Education Not Available

Nikhil Chopra’s artistic practice ranges between live art, theatre, painting, photography, sculpture and installations. His performances, in large part improvised, dwell on issues such as identity, the pose and self-portraiture; reflect on the process of transformation and the part played by the duration of performance. Taking autobiographical elements as his starting point, he combines everyday life and collective history; daily acts such as eating, resting, washing and dressing, but also making large format drawings, acquire the value of ritual, becoming an essential part of the show.

As a live artist, whose practice emerges from the painting, every site offers a range of possibilities in terms of contexts and audiences. That these are variable and subjective in their essence, to time, place and history, lend to each performance an immediacy that cannot be rehearsed or repeated. City lights, architecture and landscape, the weather, the commotion and chaos of contemporary metropolitan life, evidence of mental and physical stress, the tranquility of the night and articulations of collective histories and memories, all come together in the gestalt that creates the performance.

From Bombay, to the Kashmir where his family comes from, to Goa where he lives now, between one home and another, in his drawings, Nikhil continues to work with the mountains, the sea and the skies that connect them. In search of the sublime, in the persona of a hopeless romantic, the melancholia and irony in his performances reflect the mess of the world we as humans continue to make. He uses drawings as a means of confronting the fragility of the wilderness and our place on the planet. Performance is a way to bring to attention the process of making a drawing as an act that is both personal and political. The labour and concentration required to make an artwork is part of the spectacle.

Nikhil has been exhibiting and performing globally since 2005. Participation in solo and group exhibitions include Fire Water, 2nd Yinchuan Biennale, China (2018); Drawing a Line Through Landscape, documenta14, Athens, Greece & Kassel, Germany (2017); Blackening VI, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK (2017);  Bhairav, New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK (2017); The Black Pearlthe city from the river, Alchemy, Southbank Centre, London, UK (2016); La Perla Negra, La Bienal de Habana, Havana, Cuba (2016); Use Like Water, Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015); Give Me Your Blood and I Will Give You Freedom, Singapore International Festival for the Arts (2014); Inside Out, Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy (2012); Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing X, Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai and the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai (2010). I have also performed at Performa, New York (2008); the 53rd Venice Biennale (2009); and the Yokohama Triennale (2008). Nikhil currently lives and works in Goa.