SCREENING: ZIGZAG AFTERLIVES: FILM EXPERIMENTS FROM THE 1960S AND 1970S IN INDIA

Video Still taken from Events in a Cloud Chamber, (2016). Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia.

Zigzag Afterlives engages with a set of epiphanic film experiments made by Indian artists and filmmakers during the 1960s and 1970s. It contextualises the unacknowledged histories of collaboration and experimentation against a backdrop of nationalism and anti-colonial struggle, the global counterculture, the student and civil rights movements, and the Cold War.

Crisscrossing disciplinary boundaries and geopolitical constructs in a productively non-linear constellation, we encounter an extraordinary film by the artist Akbar Padamsee, the catalyst of the Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW), a trans- disciplinary collective initiated in the late 1960s; the Indo-Canadian artist P Mansaram’s collaboration with the prophetic media theorist Marshall McLuhan in the late 1960s; a relatively recent metaphysical investigation into Padamsee’s lost film made at VIEW by the filmmaker Ashim Ahluwalia (2016) a visionary, but unfinished film from the 1980s by the filmmaker Kumar Shahani, one of the leading participants of VIEW. I am especially delighted to exhibit the artist and filmmaker Nina Sugati SR’s films, which she made while a student at Cal Arts in the early 1970s. Nina’s films reveal a landscape of the political subconscious, a terrain that few male artists of Indian origin had dared to explore in the 1970s.

Please be aware that some of the films, dating back to the 20th Century, may feature outdated language and imagery that may offend some audiences. The programme is recommended for audiences 16 and above.

This screening is organised by Camden Art Centre in conjunction with artist Paul Purgas’ commission We Found Our Own Reality.


Production still from A Memoir of the Future directed by Kumar Shahani,1983, An unfinished film. Photo by Pablo Bartholomew

Episode 1.
11 November 2020, 19:00

Syzygy
Directed by Akbar Padamsee
Film Animation by Ram Mohan
1969-1970

Events in a Cloud Chamber
Directed by Ashim Ahluwalia
Single-channel video | Super 8/16 mm | 2016

Intersect
Directed by P Mansaram
Collage film featuring Marshall McLuhan and Ravi Shankar
1967

Video Still taken from Hope No Ones’ Listening, (1973-2018). Directed by Nina Sugati SR aka Nina Shivdasani Rovshen

Episode 2.
18 November 2020, 19:00

Hope No Ones’ Listening
Directed by Nina Sugati SR aka Nina Shivdasani Rovshen
16mm Kodak Reversal Film, 1973.
Transferred to Video and digitised with Screenplay Graphics approx. in 2018

A Memoir of the Future
Directed by Kumar Shahani
An Unfinished Film
1983

Video still Breaking Ground, (1972-2018). Directed by Nina Sugati SR aka Nina Shivdasani Rovshen

Episode 3.
25 November 2020, 19:00

Breaking Ground
Directed by Nina Sugati SR aka Nina Shivdasani Rovshen
16mm Kodak Reversal Film, 1972. Transferred to Video and digitised with Screenplay Graphics approx. in 2018

A World of all Intelligence
Directed by Nina Sugati SR aka Nina Shivdasani Rovshen and Ross Spears
16mm Kodak Reversal Film, 1973. Transferred to Video and digitised with Screenplay Graphics approx. in 2018