Sahej Rahal

From: 10th April 2017 6:00 pm

To: 10th April 2017 9:00 pm


33 Seely Road, Nottingham, United Kingdom





IN CONVERSATION & SCREENING: Monday 10 April, 18:00

PREVIEW AND PERFORMANCE: Thursday 11 May 2017, 18:00-22:00
EXHIBITION: 12 May–17 June, Friday–Saturday, 12noon–6pm or by appointment


During his residency, Sahej Rahal will work with found objects, created tools, costumes and instruments to develop a meandering episodic narrative, wherein absurd shamanic beings perform ritualistic acts of transit across the landscape of Nottingham. The residue of these objects and performances will coalesce through a new video that allows this evolving narrative to continue to unfold across multiple sites.

Rahal’s installations, videos and performances are part of an elaborate mythology, created by drawing upon characters from a range of sources, from local legends to science-fiction. These form scenarios where indeterminate beings emerge into the everyday, as if from the cracks of our civilisation. Rahal lives and works in Mumbai a sprawling metropolis of enormous contradictions and collisions that has shaped the playful irreverence with which he approaches art-making. Just as the city continues to absorb multiple narratives, Rahal’s works attempt to re-figure and re-interpret historical fact, offering a multitude of portals between the real and the imagined.

The origins of the Receding Race, commonly known as the Insan, have been a matter of much dispute and speculation among chroniclers. This has been in no small part due to scholarly disagreement across various disciplines and schools over the etymology of Insan.

The Inland annalists argued that the name’s genus was a latterday corruption of Uns or sociability, which is the opposite of Washaha or wildness. Archaeologists refuted this, maintaining that the name was an extended derivative of Naws, or movement, which is the opposite of Sukun, or stillness.

A third camp, comprised of excommunicated historiographers blasphemously posited that the name Insan was a copulation of Inas, or perception, and Nisyan, or forgetfulness. The latter being the opposite of Dhikr, or remembrance.


This commission is part of Here, There and Everywhere, supported by funding from Art Council England as part of the cultural exchange programme, Reimagine India. Aspects of Rahal’s work developed at Primary, will be presented within the wider programme including an exhibition at mac Birmingham in 2018.

The performance forms part of Object Performance, a series of commissions presented by Primary & TG, combining residency and exhibition formats, alongside new performances.


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