Born 1973 in New Jersey, USA Lives and works in Mumbai, India and Los Angeles, USA
Over the past decade, Neha Choksi has developed a reputation for lyrical works across a range of media – performance, photography, video, sculpture – which focus on processes of change, time and consciousness. While for many artists the creative act is directed towards making something from nothing, Choksi’s interest is in flipping this equation, in order to reflect on ideas of erasure and absence. Ranging in tone from poetic to tragicomic, Choksi’s works often document simple propositions and gestures, united by an exploration of transience.
Choksi’s The Sun’s Rehearsal, 2016, is a site-specific billboard-sized installation at Carriageworks that has been constructed from scaffold and a wall layered with eight photographs of sunsets, and overlaid with a digitally rendered depiction of a setting sun. The sun is a motif in Choksi’s work, a powerful symbol linked to cosmography, and to her Jain heritage, where the universe is considered an ongoing and eternal creation. Over the course of the exhibition, the sunsets are peeled away from the wall, leaving the traces and remnants of what had once existed and suggesting the passing of time – one day, one week, one year, one lifetime. The life-giving power of the sun is further evoked by a curtain, which covers a gaping hole where the suns have been torn away.
At set times during the exhibition, Australian dance artist and choreographer Alice Cummins performs In Memory of the Last Sunset, 2016, a collaboration developed with Choksi that prompts questions about the life of a continuously warming planet and of an ageing body. Cummins’s longstanding practice has been focused on the various states of body, mind and being. The choreography has been developed through correspondence between the two artists as well as on-site rehearsals. Additionally, Choksi seeks to engage the audience in the performance through the sound of an Indian temple bell. The audience participates as a ‘time keeper’, setting the tempo for the work as they pass the bell among themselves.
Recent solo exhibitions of Neha Choksi’s work have included ‘Minds to Lose’, Hayward Gallery Project Space, London (2015); and ‘Iceboat and Sky Fold’, Project 88, Mumbai (2013). Choksi has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including ‘Whorled Explorations’, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi (2014); ‘Frestas – Art Triennial’, São Paolo (2014); ‘Home Away’, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena (2013); ‘Energy Plus’, Mumbai Pavilion, 9th Shanghai Biennale (2012); ‘Quarantania: Neha Choksi, Eva Kotátková, Taus Makhacheva’, John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (2012).