An Exploded View: A discussion on Akbar Padamsee’s film work


An Exploded View
A panel discussion presented in conjunction with JNAF’s recent retrospective on Akbar Padamsee

Panelists: Ashim Ahluwalia, Meg Harris Williams, Nina Sugati, and Nancy Adajania
Conceived and moderated by Nancy Adajania

In the 1960s after receiving the Nehru Fellowship from the government, instead of using the amount of 3 lakhs for his own expenditures, Padamsee set up the Vision Exchange Workshop between 1969-1972 at his apartment on Napean Sea Road. It was a multidisciplinary space that brought together a motley group of professionals including artists, filmmakers, designers, architects and even a psychoanalyst! The collaborative works produced were too early for their time.

Lost histories of the experimental initiatives and trajectories between the late-1960s and the 1980s which have gone under the radar are addressed in ‘An Exploded View’.

Ashim Ahluwalia
Critically acclaimed film director and screenwriter. His film, ‘Events in a Cloud Chamber’ was a metaphysical exploration of artist Akbar Padamsee’s lost experimental film, ‘Syzygy’ and was shown, among other venues, at BFI London Film Festival and the Museum of Modern Art.

Meg Harris Williams
Visual artist, writer, and teacher of psychoanalytic ideas. She co-wrote the film script for ‘A Memoir of the Future’ with Kumar Shahani, one of the leading participants of Padamsee’s Vision Exchange Workshop.

Nina Sugati
Experimental filmmaker briefly associated with Padamsee’s Vision Exchange Workshop. Her film ‘Chhatrabhang’ went on to win the first International FIPRESCI Critics Award for an Indian film at the 1976 Berlinale.

Conceived and moderated by
Nancy Adajania
Cultural theorist and curator. She curated ‘Counter-Canon-Counter-Culture: Alternative Histories of Indian Art’ at the Serendipity Arts Festival, in Goa, 2019, which screened experimental works including Padamsee’s ‘Syzygy’ and Ashim Ahluwalia’s ‘Events in a Cloud Chamber’.

Watch the full panel discussion here.