Drumsolo at the Mill is a 2 days, 20 hours live performance installation by Nikhil Chopra presented by Galleria Continua, Le Moulin. For this solo exhibition Nikhil seeks to draw the relation between time, rhythm, making marks and making sound. The elements of the performance include a ninepiece rock drum kit, buckets of black, grey and white acrylic paint and brushes. Confined to a gallery space at Le Moulin, in a building that was once a paper mill, Nikhil will play the drums and make large drawings in a persona resembling a Punk/New Wave drummer. The presence of this persona will seek to evoke the pitfalls of industrialization and mass production, while struggling to find beauty and harmony in expression.
The audience is invited to bare witness to the transformations the performance and persona will go through as the experience of the piece moves between aural and visual. Costume Design by Isha Ahluwalia. Nikhil Chopra’s artistic practice ranges between live art, theatre, painting, photography, sculpture and installations. His performances, in large part improvised, dwell on issues such as identity, the role of autobiography, the pose and self-portraiture, reflects on the process of transformation and the part played by the duration of performance.
Taking autobiographical elements as his starting point, Chopra combines everyday life and collective history; daily acts such as eating, resting, washing and dressing, but also drawing and making clothes, acquire the value of ritual, becoming an essential part of the show. Chopra’s performances on the international art scene began in 2008, when the artist was invited to contribute to Time Crevasse (Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama), Chalo India! (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo) and Indian Highway (Serpentine Gallery, London). In 2009 he showed his work at the Astrup Fearnley Museum Oslo, kunstenfestivaldesarts Brussels, and also took part in Making Worlds (53rd Venice Biennale) and Marina Abramovic Presents (Manchester International Festival, The Whitworth Gallery, 2/ Manchester). Recently in April 2012, he has returned to India after a 1 year Fellowship in Berlin at Freie Universtät’s International Re-search Center, Interweaving Performance Cultures and a solo exhibition at Galleria Continua in San Gimignano, Italy. His work took him to the 2013 Manchester International Festival last July where he received critical acclaim for his performance “Coal on Cotton”. In 2015 he performed at the Bienal de la Habana and the 12th Sharjah Biennial, and in 2016 at the Alchemy Festival, Southbank Centre, London. Nikhil Chopra was born in Calcutta in 1974, and lives in Goa. After studying at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayaji Rao University in Baroda, India, the artist continued his studies in the United States, where, in 2003, he had his first solo exhibition, Sir Raja II. In 2009 he returned to the US with the solo exhibition Yog Raj Chitrakar: Memory Drawing IX, at the New Museum of New York, and the group show Production Site: The Artist’s Studio Inside-out at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (2010); Generation in Transition: New Art from India at the Zacheta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw (2011). The artist recently made the film Man Eats Rock in collaboration with Munir Kabani for the H Box, presented at the Artsonje Center in Seoul, at the Today Art Museum in Beijing and at the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou (2011).