China Residencies and Red Gate are greatly humbled by the overwhelming response for the inaugural Crystal Ruth Bell Residency. We received applications from over 250 artists from 62 different countries, representing an incredibly wide range of mediums and practices, and we had a very difficult choice to make in order to narrow it down to just one artist.
We shortlisted fifteen project proposals that captivated our imaginations and best reflected Crystal’s aspirations for creative cultural exchange, and are finally pleased to announce Jagrut Raval as the final recipient of the 2014 Crystal Ruth Bell Residency.
Jagrut’s project proposal was simple: to feed people — “not the ones who come to the gallery openings but the ones who are less fortunate. [..] There are only two rules: whichever food item has to be laid out on the table, it has to be in the shape of a world map. The other rule is that a camera shall document people eating the food from a top angle, right above the map in a time-lapse. […] This performance would be repeated every week during the residency.[…] The final product of this act would be a series of time-lapse videos with people snatching out parts of the world. The territories are constantly being torn down. New maps are constantly being created and destroyed. […] Deconstruction of a map is done throughout our history and will continue to happen.”
“What is the use of art if it doesn’t feed people? What if the art itself is feeding people ? The other interpretation is ‘food for thought’. This art would do both. It shall feed people literally and conceptually. Being from India, I am often asked, there are starving people in the world and you go into galleries with your cheese and glass of wine, but what about the people who have to fight each day for food? I understand both sides of the coin, probably a contradiction within myself. This work shall attempt to do both. […] Territories are restrictions imposed upon us that we have to live with it. Identities are levied upon us through the maps. This will also be an opportunity for me to travel to one more place in the world to discover our common traits which makes us human.”
Jagrut is originally from Ahmedabad, India and recently completed his MFA in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
His previous works deal with the enigma of time, as a construct confined within the historical, philosophical, and religious discourses. His building-scale immersive installations exist in public space across the US and his video projections, photographs, performances, and site-specific sculptures have been shown in exhibitions around the world.
A video documenting “Consuming the World” can be seen here