Tejal Shah - Between the Waves

Nov 13, 2023 to Jan 15, 2024

How to engage with toxic environments, not only in a metaphorical but also in a literal sense? The five-channel video installation Between the Waves, 2012, is a “circular fable, a new cosmology bearing a strong commentary on the Anthropocene”, as the artist Tejal Shah puts it. Between the Waves imagines the “possible scope of what remains” (Shah). In their video installation, we see a burning moon, an animation of a mechanistic-organic being, unicorn-like protagonists in costumes made out of garbage lying on a polluted shore or arranging colorful plastic sponges under water. The protagonists are making kin with the more-than-human. Becoming insects on a landfill, harvesting plastic in a mangrove forest, assimilating and dissimilating no-longer-bodies and no-longer-things, becoming the other by touch and sex, diving in water, dancing in garbage. “In this work, everything is touched and portrayed as a sensitive, excitable surface, inseparable from everything else.” (Miro Spinelli)

The installation is part of the seminar “Art and Extractivism” (MA) and the lecture series “Climate Catastrophes. Perspectives from Cultural Studies” (BA).

Opening Hours: Tu/We, noon - 4pm, and by appointment

Tejal Shah (Bhilai, India, 1979. Based in Bir, India) considers themselves as some kind of an artist working with some kind of nature. They are deeply invested in relationality, love, care and healing, in ways that honor differences and are sensitive to the flows of power, privilege and disadvantage along complex intersectional lines. Amongst others, Shah’s worldview is informed by nondual Buddhist philosophy and practice, queer-feminism and eco-poetics. Their works have been widely exhibited at museums, galleries and film festivals, including São Paolo Biennial, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Documenta 13, 4th Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Tate Modern (London, UK), and Centre Pompidou (Paris, France).