Atul Bhalla

You always step into the same river

The presentation will focus on two projects entitled “The Wake” and “Yamuna Walk”. These consist of explorative journeys centered around the experience of “immersing” myself into sites of myth, history, knowledge and memory along the river systems of the Yamuna and the Ganges in India. Commissioned by the Heritage Transport Museum in Manesar, Haryana, “The Wake” sprang out of my nonsensical whim to have a boat made on the banks of one of the most polluted and non-flowing rivers of the world, the Yamuna. 'Yamuna Walk' instead, follows the river, maps its human and non-human presences and portrays their life-worlds through physical movement. Both the “Wake” and “Yamuna Walk“ stage singular, personal, instinctive interaction with a landscape to which water, environment and contamination are central.


Atul Bhalla has explored the physical, historical, and political significance of water in the urban environment of New Delhi through artworks that incorporate sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography, and performance. His recent solo shows include ‘you always step into the same river” SepaiEYE New York 2015. “On the Edge “ and “Ya Ki Kuch aur .Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi .2011 and 2014 respectively, and Water Works, Grossman Gallery.,Lafayette College, Easton PA. USA. He has published two books on his performative works, Yamuna Walk, University of Washington Press, and What will be my Defeat? Galerie für Landschaftskunst Hamburg, Germany. He lives and works in New Delhi, where he is an Associate professor of the Shiv Nadar University at the Department of Art Design and Performance.