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Visual Arts

Rohini Devasher participates online at events in Basel

The Mirrored Sky (6) Cyanotype on paper. 17×12.5cms, 2017.

Indian artist Rohini Devasher will be participating at two KIN-SHIP-PING events curated by Kadiatou Diallo in cooperation with the Centre for African Studies at Universität Basel.

The Observatory
Performative Essay in collaboration with Legion Seven


Performative Essay
Date: October 20, 2020
Venue: Kaserne Basel
Time: 7:30 PM
Free entry
Open to all
More here.

Seminar: Speculations from the Field
Date: 22 October 2020
Venue: Universität Basel
Time: 10 AM – 4 PM

Through video, sound, text, readings and image, the essay transforms the Observatory into a peripatetic entity guiding audiences past celestial bodies, through conjunctions of time, space and event. Various readings of the categories of observation, the amateur astronomer, object and site, will plot new constellations, repositioning events on and from Earth in ways that suggest unlearning ways of seeing, as a means to explore how we observe time and ourselves within the solar system. Swiss based sound artist Legion Seven will be developing a soundscape for the performance based on Rohini Devasher’s images and text.

Rohini’s pre-recorded material will include video, text and sound. Legion Seven and Kadiatou Diallo will be on site in Basel, interacting/reading with the pre-recorded material. This will be followed by a discussion, for which Rohini will be present online.

Seminar: Speculations from the Field – Observation, the Amateur and the Collective

What are the ways we might think about observation? As practice, mode, method? Could categories such as ‘observer’, ‘field’ and crucially ‘the collective’, as understood within the context of the amateur astronomy community, offer ways of re-imagining relationships within the planetary sensorium? The seminar will pivot around Rohini’s work with communities of amateur astronomers exploring what groups of people enthralled by the night sky might tell us about the nature and complexities of human meaning making. A closer study of the practice of observation helps to bridge the gap between the ‘real’ and ‘artificial’. No observation is ever truly unmediated. The seminar will look more closely at the people and forms, both embodied and technological, this mediation takes.

For the seminar at the Universität Basel, which Rohini will participate in online, students will think about ways in which these ideas and categories could be applied to their own practice. A shared participatory activity will also illustrate the ways in which observation is inextricably linked to the collective both as a shared experience, and also as a means to produce and mediate perception.

Rohini Devasher has trained as a painter and printmaker, and works in a variety of media including, video, prints and site-specific drawings. Her current research brings together her interest in early scientific observational instruments and contemporary observational sciences, specifically astronomy and atmospheric sciences, to study the twin aspects of the Earth’s skies: its celestial constants on one hand and the transforming objects of the atmosphere on the other.

Devasher’s work has been shown at the 14th Sharjah Biennial Leaving the Echo Chamber (2019) and Kaserne Basel (2019), among others. Recent solo shows include Hopeful Monsters at Project 88, Mumbai (2019). Devasher was the recipient of the Forbes India Young Contemporary Artist of the Year (2014), Skoda Breakthrough Artist Award (2013) and the Sarai Associate Fellowship (2010).


Images Courtesy: Rohini Devasher and Project 88, Mumbai