“A Kolkata” is a video artwork by artist Alex May realised within the framework of the Indo-European Residency Project Kolkata 2021 supported by EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture in collaboration with the British Council, Kolkata.
The video is available to view online from 10th December 2021 to 31st January 2022 – https://ieresidencykolkata.com/exhibition2021
The work is a reflection on the experience and role of travel from the perspective of being locked down due to the pandemic. If we are to curb our travel to reduce our carbon impact on the world, do we need to redefine our idea of having visited a place being entirely a physical act.
Due to the pandemic, the entire residency took place online, with one selected artist from France, Germany, Italy, India, and the UK exploring the city of Kolkata virtually via a curated collection of materials and online events.
During the residency, Alex collaborated with four Kolkata based photographers to capture physical elements of Kolkata as 3d models. Following a workshop that introduced the technique, each photographer was asked to go out and select objects that act as personal markers for how they navigate the city. By taking a number of 2d photographs of each object from different angles, Alex was then able to recreate these objects in 3d using photogrammetry software.
These disparate objects were then digitally combined into a visual poem that reflects on what it means to have been to a place. Partially inspired by an intense lucid dream of walking through Kolkata that Alex had during the residency, the work is a deeply personal exploration of the idea of a city never visited.
Video and soundtrack by Alex May
Made in collaboration with
Format: MP4/H264 video 1920×1080
Duration: 6m 36s
The aim of the Indo-European Residency Project Kolkata is to provide a platform for cultural exchange and engagement – with the arts in all forms, with international and local artists, and with the city itself. Kolkata is steeped in a deep and overwhelming cultural history and has at the same time been a pivotal point of generating new ideas in the field of contemporary art.
This Residency offers a space for artists to engage in cultural exchange and discourse with India and Europe. The participating artists get immersed in the city of Kolkata and its cultural scene, while creating an opportunity for artists from Kolkata to gain exposure to global developments in the arts. This also places Kolkata, a cultural hub, in a more prominent place on the world map as a thriving place of interest with immense potential to be explored.
The first edition of this Residency started in 2017 with three partners, Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Kolkata and Alliance Française du Bengale in collaboration with Kolkata based art gallery CIMA (Centre of International Modern Art), with the kind support of the Franco-German Elysee Fund. The third Indo~European Residency in 2019 grew from strength to strength with the addition of The British Council. The present edition welcomes the Consulate General of Italy to the team of partners.
Indo-European Residency 2021 Artists
Alex May (UK), Anushree Ghosh (India), Chloé Macary-Carney (France), Irma Blumstock (Germany), Marta Roberti (Italy)