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Sundeep Bali

About The Artist

Artist’s Statement Informed by provenance and myriad historical-functional contexts, my gaze views monuments as super-structures worthy of admiration. What happens when the gaze is subverted? The view is diverted from the monument to the hordes of tourists from across the country and the globe who come to witness the ‘see’ the monument as part of their package-tours of the capital city. The monument here is Qutub Minar- a complex of monuments with an imposing yet beautiful ornate minaret as its visual-center. The sprawling urban growth in the last decade has ensured that the minaret is no more the apparent visual- landmark for at least the city-dwellers who pass by the monument everyday from South- Delhi to Gurgaon and back. There is a palpable rhythm to the inflow of crowds as one stands and observes from the monument with the camera looking away from the minaret. It starts with a riot of colors, cultures and faiths converging to catch the first glimpse of monument and metamorphoses into a melange of expressions as necks gently strain-up tofathom the majestic, slightly overwhelming but not completely intimidating visuality of the minaret. It’s immensely engaging to witness, see and capture this evanescent but ever- repeating mosaic of emotions and gestures. Not least is the paradox that my point of view as an image-maker here is distinctly third person and yet it culminates into a resounding delight seldomly experienced when I gazed head-on at the Qutub Minar. Fulbright Experience I was accorded the Fulbright Fellowship (2004-05) to research the museum- communication, education and interpretation at the National Gallery of Art and the Freer & Sackler galleries in Washington D.C. My Fulbright experience tuned out to the catalyst in my journey as a lens-based artist. Interactions with fellow museum and art-management professionals who were practicing artists as well enthused me infinitely during my stay in US. My first solo ‘ Made In USA : An American Experience’ (India Habitat Centre, 2006) was built on my American experience- literally as well as figuratively. Last but not the least should be a mention of all the individuals whose generosity made my sojourn a rewarding journey - my academic advisor Debra Diamond at the Freer &Sackler,Claire Orologas at the Freer &Sackler,Faya Causey at the National Gallery of Art, Martha M. Smith who hosted me at her place and patiently showed me how to find my way around the D.C. metropolitan areaand Larry DeVore for his insights as a docent.

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