November 1, 2017

Pallavi Paul: 2017 Kirloskar Visiting Scholar in Painting

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)

Pallavi Paul. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is pleased to name New Dehli-based artist Pallavi Paul this year’s Vikram and Geetanjali Kirloskar Visiting Scholar in Painting. Paul will visit the Providence campus for a week-long residency from November 6 to 10, where she will participate in talks and critiques, visit classes and present a public lecture.

Paul joins the Kirloskar program in its fourth year at the recommendation of Monica Nerula and Jeebesh Bagchi of the Raqs Media Collective (Kirloskar Residents 2015). Paul’s work is deeply engaged in the technologies of poetry and time travel. She works primarily with video and the installation form to propose orders of tensility that inhabit nonfiction material. Using the disruption between “reality image” and “documentary” as a starting point, she attempts to create a laboratory of possibilities testing the contours of fantasy, resistance, politics and history.

Film screening and discussion with Pallavi Paul
November 7, 6pm
Tap Room, Memorial Hall, Fourth Floor, 226 Benefit Street, Providence, RI

Please join us for an evening screening of Pallavi Paul’s trilogy of documentary-style films: Nayi Kheti (New Harvest, 2013), Shabdkosh (A Dictionary, 2013) and Long Hair, Short Ideas (2014). Paul will host a short discussion following the screening.

Central to the trilogy is the revolutionary poet Vidrohi (the rebel), who began writing in the 1970s as India was experiencing great political turbulence and violence. However, as Paul notes in her preface to the first film in the trilogy, “the films are not about the persona of Vidrohi. Rather, I attempt to use his poems as a kind of laboratory to test the tensile strength of resistance as a material of life.” Throughout the trilogy, as Paul explores the contours of fantasy, resistance, politics and history, she extricates the political from a language of nostalgia or mourning to get to the heart of resistance. For more information, please visit or RSVP here.

Documentary Proof That Leaves No Reason for Doubt
Artist Talk with Pallavi Paul
November 9, 4–6pm
Metcalf Auditorium, Chace Center, 20 N. Main Street, Providence, RI

Please join us for an evening with Pallavi Paul as she leads us in a collaborative reading and talks about her artistic practice. The evening will incorporate a collective reading, in morse code, of the official file of secret agent Noor Inayat Khan, who worked for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during WW2. The file has been reproduced on a 73-foot scroll and questions the nature of writing about history, storytelling, time and disappearance.

Paul will explore some of the philosophical ideas around formal nonfiction, cinema and the notions of truth. Drawing from a background of storytelling, filmmaking, and experimentation, her ideas push boundaries to explore new horizons and unravel new meanings and possibilities. For Paul, the medium of documentary becomes “resistance, possibility, a second horizon ….” RSVP here. Event will be streamed at

The Kirloskar Endowment
In 2013 Vikram and Geetanjali Kirloskar established the Kirloskar Visiting Scholar program with the goal of exploring, strengthening and developing dialogue connecting South Asia-based artists and practices at RISD. Favoring flexibility and multiple formats, Professor Dennis Congdon (75 PT) and the RISD Kirloskar Advisory Group are working with a range of scholars, both established and still rising, to teach semester-long courses, lead shorter residencies and offer lectures or panel discussions.

The Kirloskar program was launched in 2014 with painter and mixed-media artist Chitra Ganesh, who offered a seminar entitled Dreaming, Narrative and Materiality in Contemporary South Asian Art. In 2015 the Raqs Media Collective engaged in an artist residency at the RISD Museum and conducted an experimental studio called A Myriad Marginalia. The 2016–17 Visiting Scholar was renowned painter, multimedia artist and RISD alumna Shahzia Sikander (MFA 95 PT/PR), who visited campus several times to participate in public talks and other programing and also took part in a series of activities at RISD’s Palazzo Cenci in Rome.

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