Zuleikha Chaudhari

Extending Arts Practice

Grant Period: Over one year

As a theatre director and lighting designer, Zuleikha Chaudhari has developed an extensive and impressive body of work. Over the years, her work in theatre has engaged a series of questions concerning the interruption of narrative structure, the fragmentation of the mimetic relationship between text and movement, the relationship between the body and space, the texture of the performative space itself, the quality of the performative body, and the nature of the viewing experience. This grant supports Zuleikha to produce RELOCATE, an installation that will explore how text, spatial arrangement, light, sound, video, and the body could uniquely and collectively be layered to find and create a new artistic form that lies between the visual arts and performance.

With RELOCATE, Zuleikha is keen to collaborate with artists from other disciplines in order to experience other forms and ways of working towards extending her own artistic impulses. She will converse with Simone Anne von Büren (Berne), a writer and dramaturge, and Ali Zaidi (London), a new media and performance artist. Zuleikha will pose many challenging questions of her practice. Zuleikha will look specifically at whether the audience can become central to the experience in the absence of an actor. By making the space a performative site, the spectator becomes a performer who is part of the installation. Her pursuit through this installation is to create an environment using video, sound, light and text, in which she will engage in a dialogue with the spectator to understand how the evolving landscape of the city creates dislocation and deep anxiety within its inhabitants.

Zuleikha will choreograph and dramatise space through RELOCATE. She will compose new texts, continuing her exploration of planes through tube-light frames that will be angled, twisted and elongated, and combine these with walls of light and steel planes. By creating a disorienting spatial experience, she attempts to question whether a viewer can have a changing psychological relationship to space. The installation will thus become a frame in which the viewer locates his body and experience, being no more in the background of the performer/performance. Hence, the viewer becomes the viewed. This installation will reflect on Zuleikha’s exploration of the different approaches to viewing and constructing images in the visual and performing arts. According to her, art in the contemporary context is not bound by disciplinary confines, and it is these blurred spaces between theatre, visual art, music/sound, video and design that she attempts to explore. Zuleikha hopes to create new languages of performance that reflect and contain the complex experiences of the world we live in.