We Found Our Own Reality examines the cultural, political, and post-colonial echoes of South Asia’s avant-garde sonic pioneers, proposing an alternative reading of Modernist history that weaves together threads of the past with speculations of the future. At the core of the project is a large-scale exhibition at Betonhalle, bringing together architecture, furniture, textiles, and sound to explore India's first electronic music studio, founded in 1969 at the National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad – as well as a new soundwork/installation, developed by Paul Purgas from a collection of unheard recordings by five previously unknown Indian electronic composers.
Several supporting events will take place around the exhibition, including the Zigzag Afterlives film programme curated by Nancy Adajania, which engages with a set of pioneering film experiments made by Indian artists, filmmakers, and composers during the 1960s and 1970s. A one-day discourse programme on Thursday 2nd of February at silent green Kuppelhalle will reflect upon exchanges and resonances between the Indian and global experimental music and design communities both historically and into the present, featuring talks by Rahila Haque with Paul Purgas, Regina Bittner, You Nakai, Nabihah Iqbal, and Coven Code’s Lush Lata. Also the exhibition’s geometry will set the scene for a series of live musical events where Imran Perretta, Nabihah Iqbal, Paul Purgas, Poulomi Desai, and Suren Seneviratne will step into a dialogue with the sonic echoes of the NID’s electronic music studio through a series of improvisational performances presented on the evenings of Sunday 29 January, and Saturday 4 February.
Founded after India’s independence, the NID was a multi-disciplinary facility to train a new generation of free thinking modern designers, animators, ceramicists, film-makers, and sound artists. The exhibition explores the technological and experimental ambition of the NID’s electronic music studio across its four year lifespan at a moment of unprecedented national transformation and cultural exchange between Western and Indian Modernist ideologies, narrating its dialogue with the international sonic and visual avant-gardes of Europe and the USA.
Curated and created by Paul Purgas
Friday, January 27
Opening hours 28.1.–4.2.
28.1.:12–10 pm exhibition
29.1.: 12–5 pm exhibition
29.1. Performance Poulomi Desai, Suren Seneviratne: 7 pm
30.1.–3.2.: 2–10 pm exhibition
4.2.: 12–5 pm exhibition
4.2. Performance Paul Purgas, Imran Perretta, Nabihah Iqbal: 7 pm
CTM Festival and the We Found Our Own Reality exhibition are funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe. Supported by Goethe-Institut, and British Council.
The We Found Our Own Reality installation was originally commissioned & produced by Camden Arts Centre, London & Tramway, Glasgow.