Human Machine Fellowship 2020

© Sahej Rahal

Sahej Rahal


Sahej Rahal’s installations, films, performances and video games, are part of a constructed mythology that he creates drawing upon sources ranging from local legends to science fiction. By bringing these into dialogue with each other, Rahal creates scenarios where indeterminate beings emerging from the cracks in our civilization. Rahal’s participation in institutional, solo & group exhibitions internationally have included ACCA Melbourne 2019, Vancouver Biennale 2019, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, 2018, Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham UK, 2018; Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, 2017; PRIMARY Nottingham, UK 2017; the Liverpool Biennial, 2016; Setouchi Triennial, 2016; Jewish Museum, New York, 2015; Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2014; MACRO Museum, Rome, 2014. His work has been exhibited at Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, France, 2014 and Art Stage Singapore, 2014.  His most recent solo exhibition took place in 2019 at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. He is a recipient of the INLAKS emerging artist award 2012; the IFA Critical Arts Practice grant 2014; the Forbes India Art Award, 2014, for best debut show for his solo exhibition ‘Forerunner’ at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; the Cove Park/Henry Moore Fellowship, 2017, Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship 2018, and most recently the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation Installation Art Grant, 2019.


Sahej’s project, Citizen Strange proposes a series of live performances, sculptural installations and AI programs, that collectively imagine a cosmography of radical cohabitations within the toxic contingencies of the present. Rahal’s process interrogates the formulations of contemporary myths and their enmeshment within Indian society, by tracing the figure the non-human, from its mythic relationship to demons of sickness and disease, to its futuristic avatars in algorithmic intelligence. This itinerant cosmography takes its shape between the divisions of myth, self, spectre and machine, suturing them across space-time.