Human Machine Fellowship 2020

© Sahej Rahal

Sahej Rahal


Sahej Rahal is primarily a storyteller. He weaves together fact and fiction to create counter-mythologies, which interrogate narratives that shape the present. This myth-world takes the shape of sculptures, performances, films, paintings, installations, and AI programs, which he creates by drawing on sources ranging from local legends to science fiction. By bringing these into dialogue with each other, Rahal creates scenarios where indeterminate beings emerge from the cracks in our civilization. Rahal has participated in group and solo exhibitions, including the Liverpool Biennial, the Kochi Biennale, the Vancouver Biennale, the MACRO Museum Rome, Kadist SF, ACCA Melbourne and CCA Glasgow. He received the Cove Park/Henry Moore Fellowship, the Akademie Schloss Solitude Fellowship and, most recently, the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation Installation Art Grant in 2019.


My 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. The framework of my project is grounded in processes of worldbuilding and mythmaking that unravel the formulations of contemporary myths and their enmeshment within Indian society. Furthermore, the project traces the contours of the non-human, from its mythic relationship to demons of sickness and disease, to its futuristic avatars in algorithmic intelligence. Finally this itinerant cosmography will takes its shape between the divisions of myth, self, spectre and machine, suturing them across space-time.