Ali Akbar Mehta (b.1983, Mumbai) is a Transmedia artist, curator, researcher, and writer. Driven by the desires of knowing and participating in the creation of an equal world, his research-based practice is to make immersive archival projects that map knowledges through a multifocal lens of violence, conflict, and trauma. He aims to found processes that would leave deep impacts on the contemporary crossovers of culture, technology and knowledge.

Currently, he is invited to Party Office b2b Fadescha at documenta fifteen, to develop ‘Archives as Contemporary Object X’, a discursive program investigating new methodologies of archiving as an artistic practice. His project Purgatory Edit is a user-generated new media project developing an archive on the representations of violence; and his ongoing doctoral research titled, Practicing Online Performativity: Constructing Politically Conscious Archives as Participatory Art in the Age of Data, Power, and Violence investigates (infra)structural and performative relations between online archives and its users. He regularly writes and lectures on museum-building as a critical artistic praxis, and on archiving as a site for Infrastructural Praxis through the lens of decoloniality, queer-feminist praxis, critical diversity and socio-politics of border thinking.

Such projects investigate and offer countermeasures to forms of violence and conflict generated as everyday collateral. By experimenting with new archival rules that depart from institutional and coloniality-driven legacy archiving, he generates new knowledge systems of how narratives of history, memory, and identity may be mapped to make visible hegemonic power relations and silenced historical materialism. Such archival mappings – drawings, paintings, new media works, net-based projects, poems, essays, theoretical texts, and performances both of bodies and networks – seek to create knowledge systems that outline a vibrant new political public sphere.

His work has been presented in India and Europe, most notably at documenta fifteen, Taide Museo ARTSI, Gallen-Kallela Museum, Ainola Museum, Visavuori Museum, Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum, Venice Biennale Research Pavillion, Mänttä Art Festival, ONOMA Summer Exhibition (Fiskars), Myymälä2, Third Space, TAO Art Gallery, Art Heritage, Galerie Mirchandani+Steinruecke, among others. Several of his projects, such as 256 Million Colours of Violence, Outsiders at Work, Ballad of the Lost Utopian Meadow, and Central Park Archives, exist as ongoing online projects.

He is a co-founder of the Museum of Impossible Forms, Helsinki, an anti-racist queer feminist project, and was its Co-Artistic Director (2018-2020). He is currently a research member of the Cluster of Critical Artistic Research (CCARE) and serves on the boards of TKOK ry (2021-), and Frame Contemporary Art Finland (2021-). He is a doctoral candidate in the Contemporary Art Department at Aalto University, Helsinki, holds an MA (Visual Culture, Curating, and Contemporary Art) from Aalto University, Helsinki, and a BFA (Drawing & Painting) from Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai.


Orcid Researcher ID:

ORCID iD iconhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-0098-4631



Partners and Collaborators

Vidha Saumya

Palash Mukhopadhyay

varialambo

Abhinit Khanna

Jernej Čuček Gerbec and Saša Nemec


Museum of Impossible Forms

Kiila ry

mcult

Party Office


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Projects

  • 2019
  • 2009
  • 2007