Khoj announces the launch of a new digital art project and physical exhibition, The Observatory: Second Site, by artists Rohini Devasher and Legion Seven on the 14th of April 2023 from 6:30pm onwards at Khoj Studios. The project began as a lecture performance at Kaserne Basel in Switzerland and has now expanded into a web- hosted digital art project and physical exhibition. The Observatory: Second Site is a multidisciplinary exploration of the complexities of observational astronomy and the ways in which ‘seeing’ is strange, wondrous, and more ambiguous than one might imagine.
At the core of this iteration is the question of how perception impacts sight and transforms
the object. Devasher and Legion Seven invited three creative practitioners - Day Eve,
Norwin Tharayil, and Sona Shukla Sahani - to create new works in response to prompts
drawn from the reflections of people looking at Saturn for the first time through a telescope.
Speaking about the project, Devasher and Legion Seven said: "The Observatory: Second
Site takes on the shape of a model planetary system - an orrery. At the center of which is
Saturn - the original body of this work. Orbiting Saturn are three planetary entities; the worlds
of each collaborator which become stars to traverse. Each studio space will become the
embodiment of each collaborator's world. We intend to utilise surround sound, projected
video elements, vinyl, drawing, text and physical objects to conjure the observatory.”
Illustrations of the three phases of one of the Moons that inhabit The Observatory : Second Site. Credit Rohini Devasher. Courtesy of Khoj International Artists’ Association
The exhibition opening at 6:30 pm on 14 April, will be followed by a performance and a talk
by the artists from 7pm onwards. The Observatory : Second Site project was commissioned
and produced by Khoj Studios, supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, and
Goethe Institut Delhi.
The Planisphere, screen grab from The Observatory: Second Site. Design and artwork Rohini Devasher. Courtesy of Khoj International Artists’ Association
About Khoj International Artists’ Association
Khoj is a not-for-profit contemporary arts organisation based in New Delhi. Through its
programs Khoj supports and incubates emerging, experimental and transdisciplinary creative
practices and pedagogies. Since its inception in 1997, Khoj has been committed towards
building global networks and solidarities, especially in the subcontinent. Khoj believes that
art is of intrinsic value to society; it is a crucial form of inquiry that provides unique insights
and drives change through affect.
Screen grab of Todragacarcassthroughthenightsky, by Norwin Tharayil. Credit Norwin Tharayil. Courtesy of Khoj International Artists’ Association
The Observatory: Second Site, screen grab from the website.Design andartwork Rohini Devasher. Image credit Rohini Devasher and Legion Seven. Courtesy of Khoj International Artists’ Association
Know about the Artists -
Devasher is an artist and an amateur astronomer. Her films, prints, sounds and drawings,
map the complexities of time and space, through the twin frames of wonder and the strange.
Her work has been shown at the Open Data Institute London (2022), Rubin Museum, New
York (2021-22), the Sea Art Festival, Busan (2021), Vienna Academy of Fine Art (2021),
Goethe Institut Mumbai, the Kunst Leuven City Festival (2021) the 14th Sharjah Biennial
(2019), Kaserne Basel (2019) Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) (2018),
7th Moscow Biennial (2017), the Spencer Museum of Art USA (2018,16), MAAT Museum of
Art and Technology, Lisbon (2016), ZKM, Karsruhe (2016), Bhau Daji Lad City Museum in
Mumbai (2016, 2018) Singapore Art and Science Museum (2016), Whitechapel Gallery,
London (2016), and the 5th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennial (2014), the Kochi Biennale (2012),
Recent residencies include the Embedded Artist in Residence programme at the Open Data
Institute (ODI) London 2021-22 and the Cove Park Fully Funded Artist-in-Residence
programme 2022-23 with the City as a Spaceship Collective.
Current projects include One Hundred Thousand Suns, a four channel film that explores the
relationships between observation, information, data and truth, commissioned by Data as
Culture (DaC) the art programme of the Open Data Institute (ODI), London.
Devasher has been selected for Connect India and will participate in a dual residency at
CERN in Geneva and at the International Centre for Theoretical Sciences (ICTS-TIFR)ICTS
in Bengaluru in 2023.
Legion Seven (*1993 in Brampton, CAN) is an artist whose work is an erratic vehicle on a
splendid path. Their projects emerge in bodies as diverse as the imagination; consistent only
in a refractive departure from the literal cult rigidity into which Seven was born. The
wreckage of this rigidity, strewn with dream-mythology, science-fiction, chaos-logic and
exuberant lies, drapes the path wherewith Seven gains momentum and puts momentum on
In the near decade that Seven spent in Basel (CH), they enriched the city’s art and music
culture through projects across a wide range of disciplines: from full concept bands and
minimal duos, to character based immersive performances. Seven was awarded the Basler
Medienkunstpreis (Basel Media Arts Prize) for their live audio-visual storytelling collaboration
The Several Ways I’ve Died In My Imagination. That following year, they were recognised
individually by the Cultural Department of Basel-Stadt for their overall artistic contributions,
and awarded with the city’s Kulturförderpreis (Cultural Promotion Award) of 2019.
In early 2021, commitment to an intensive restructuring of their artistic practice led Seven
from Basel to Berlin (DE). There they cocooned in the belly of the lockdown, developing a
new body for the respiration of their work. In 2022, the initial breaths of that body took on the
form of poetic lecture performances written especially for and in dialogue with the exhibitions
that staged them. A composition for Evan Ifekoya’s Resonant Frequencies at The Migros
Museum of Contemporary Art (CH), and for Frida Orupabo’s I have seen a million pictures of
my face and still I have no idea at Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), are among these
Screen grab of S.T.E.V.E. , by Day Eve Komet. Image credit Day Eve Komet, The Observatory: Second Site Courtesy of Khoj International Artists’ Association
Details Summarised -
Opening Reception: Friday, April 14, 2023 | 6:30 pm
Performance & Artist Talk : 7pm onwards
Exhibition On View : 15th April - 13th May 2023
At Khoj Studios
S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi