"knotted threads" An Art Installation / Exhibition and Exchange Project by Nesa Gschwend, Switzerland, at Visual Arts Gallery, IHC, Lodhi Road > 8th-19th November 2011




8th November : 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm – 


Welcome address by Martin Strub, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland


Introduction by Dr. Alka Pande, Curator and Art Consultant, Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre

9th to 19th November : 10:00 am - 8:00 pm - Exhibition on View
11th November : "Art and Social Movement" panel discussion at India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road > 4pm on 11th November 2011


Place : 

Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Centre ( IHC ), Lodhi Road, New Delhi-110003

Event Details : 'knotted threads' An Art Installation / Exhibition and Exchange Project by Nesa Gschwend, Switzerland.

Art Installation - the Concept
knotted threads aims at continuing and deepening a cross cultural dialogue initiated in 2006 by the Swiss artist Nesa Gschwend. Nesa attempts to build bridges and conversations, and also interrogate cultural differences through site specific art works and photography.. The search for connecting as well as dividing cultural phenomenons, and the subsequent research into their backgrounds through creative expression and of course in direct encounters with Indian artists. knotted threads combines video works and textile objects into a complete installation.
The artist took up the «red thread», which she started «weaving» with her previous installation Red Strings Through My Hands, at the Experimental Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre in 2009, as an initial citation, and combines it with her new artworks.
The title of the project captures her work method with the textiles she uses – from saris to knitted objects to large panels – on the one hand, as well as to the «knotting» of permanent relations across three cultures on the other hand.
The triple video installation Locations shows the original sari mala created in Varanasi in three distinct geographies hence connecting different living conditions: Varanasi in India, Salvador da Bahía in Brazil, and Zurich in Switzerland – an expansion to Nesa's first Varanasi performance. Her static performances lead the viewer's attention to the movements around her, and to the small stories that happen within the frame of the camera. They intertwine on the acoustic level to a complex tapestry across spaces.
Sitting / Staying / Going --play a central role in the twofold video installation entitled my Body my Place. Sitting at the banks of the river Ganges, Nesa writes down the perceptions of whatever is happening around her on a large cloth: people and animals come and go - a static image of herself, into which small movements are inserted, remain and continue. Fleeting impressions, small stories and her own images merge into a stream of perception, of which she become the witness. The written cloth becomes a walk-in object in the exhibition – a textile room that evokes, through its waxen surface, the association of a skin, in which the visitor can sit down on a simple wooden stool and feel enveloped.
The same stool re-appears in the photo series located, that portraits people in Salvador, using their stools for shorter or longer moments installing themselves anywhere, making a few square inches their own place - be it for a shop, an advertisement, for a game or simply for relaxing amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
Nesa Gschwend ties this thread with temporary habitats to the works she created for the sadhu Aarti. She encountered this special Sadhu woman during her Varanasi residency in 2009, on the Ghats at the Ganges. A deep friendship developed between them. In the videos, she sits in front of her niche at the Ganges, living a life without material possessions, singing «when I leave, I will have a smile». Nesa admires her positive attitude in the face of the harsh life as an outcast widow and Sadhu. This deep and rich friendship, in which verbal exchange was not possible, has inspired the artist to create a series of videos and textile works.

Background – Project History
In 2006, Nesa Gschwend spent several months as an artist-in-residence in Bangalore, in southern India. This visit incited her desire to learn more about the Indian culture.
With a second residency in Varanasi from July to December 2009, awarded by the Swiss Cities' Cultural Conference (SKK), she got a new opportunity to immerse myself deeper into the Indian culture and to interact with it as an artist.
Inspired by the clothing of the Indian women – the sari, and by encounters, places and impression in this chaotic pilgrimage destination, she created a variety of works.
Toward the end of her stay, Nesa had the opportunity to exhibit a selection of her work at the Experimental Art Gallery in Delhi, through the support of CrossCulture, and in cooperation with Dr. Alka Pande, the curator at India Habitat Centre. The title, Red Strings Through My Hands, referred to the textile installation made of second-hand saris, which she plaited and sew into long strings. In this manner, I wanted to capture the traces of lives of Indian women, which they had left in their daily dressings – lives in a complex, contradictory, confusing and, from her perspective, incomprehensible spectrum of hierarchies, castes, discriminations, drastic gaps between poor and rich – individual destinies in a cultural setting unfamiliar to her. She published the theme of this India residency in her blog
Back in Switzerland Nesa Gschwend further developed the project, adding new modules: at the Kunsthalle Wil in April / Mai 2010, with the installation my Body my Place, in Tuchlaube Theatre Aarau with the wall installation Fluss (River) from September 2010 to June 2011, and in a large exhibition / installation Red Strings Through My Hands at the Aarau town hall, from October 2010 to March 2011. These projects are documented in her
German language blog :

Curated by Dr. Alka Pande, New Delhi