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Artist of the Day | Baptist Coelho

Baptist Coelho

Ribbons I'


6 bars made of various Siachen soldier’s clothing, sponge and wood.

Single bar dimensions: W 9.5 x H 72 x D 1 in

Approximate display dimensions: W 68 x H 70 x D 22 in


Multi-layered aspects of people and places form the foundation of my practice that extend beyond the studio. My focus has been to articulate unspoken stories and to conjure meaning from psychological and physical disruptions caused by war. Through a process of archival and ethnographic research, and engagement with military and civilian personnel, I investigate issues surrounding conflict, war (and war museums), conscription, heroism, emotion, fear, the body and gender. A key focus of my practice brings together research from personal conversations and institutional knowledge to reveal how the history of war and conflict affects and relates to everyday life. The narratives of war are not linear, but instead form intricate trajectories. Over the last decade I have tried to deconstruct these crucial and complex layers by approaching them from various positions. This requires an exhaustive process of investigation, questioning, collaboration and interpretation that together generates critical outcomes that question and confront established histories and power structures. Like an excavator, I move back and forth in time retrieving traces of the past and documenting the present across various geographies. My artworks probe beyond the surface to complicate, counter and rethink oral histories, facts, memory (and forgotten memory), found objects, language, random thought, invented stories and strategically archived narratives. My Interdisciplinary projects deploy diverse media including installation, sculpture, video, sound, photography, collage and performance.

In 2006, Baptist Coelho received his Masters of Arts from the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design (BIAD), UK. He was awarded the 'Sovereign Asian Art Prize' (2016) by The Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong; ‘Façade Video Award’ (2011) by Art Today Association, Plovdiv-Bulgaria; ‘Promising Artist Award’ (2007) by Art India & India Habitat Centre, Delhi-India and ‘Johnson Prize Fund’ (2006) by BIAD, Birmingham-UK. Solo Exhibitions include, Somerset House, London-UK (2016); Goethe-Zentrum, Hyderabad-India (2015); Project 88, Mumbai-India (2015); Ladakh Arts and Media Organization in Leh-India (2015); Pump House Gallery, London-UK (2012); Grand Palais, Bern-Switzerland (2009); Project 88, Mumbai-India (2009); Visual Arts Gallery, Delhi-India (2009) and BIAD, UK (2006).

Baptist has done live performances at the New Art Exchange, Nottingham-UK (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris-France (2018) and Pump House Gallery, London-UK (2011). His works have been exhibited at the Arab-Jewish Culture Center, Haifa-Israel (2015); Museo de la Ciudad, Cuernavaca-Mexico (2013); Heritage Transport Museum, Gurgaon-India (2013); CASS Sculpture Foundation, Goodwood-UK (2012); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing-China (2012); Zacheta National Art Gallery, Poland-Warsaw (2011); Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg-Austria (2010); Gwangju Museum of Art, South Korea (2010); Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon-India (2008); among others. Baptist’s videos have been screened at the Centre Pompidou, Paris-France (2018); State Darwin Museum, Moscow-Russia (2016); Torrance Art Museum, Los Angeles-USA (2016); Jönköpings Läns Museum, Sweden (2013); The Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York-USA (2013); Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, Moscow-Russia (2013); Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (MAXXI), Rome-Italy (2011); Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel-Switzerland (2011); Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon (MAC), France (2011); Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland (2010); HEART - Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2010); Museu Valencià de la Il•lustració i de la Modernitat (MuVIM), Spain (2009); National Art Gallery, Islamabad-Pakistan (2008); among others.

Baptist was the 2015-16 Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at the Department of War Studies, King's College London and has done artist residencies at Centre International d’Accueil et d’Echanges des Récollets, Paris-France (2012); Delfina Foundation, London-UK (2011); Art Today Association, Plovdiv-Bulgaria (2012); PROGR, Bern-Switzerland (2009); among others. The artist has also conducted various community workshops, artist talks, panel discussions across Asia, UAE, South Africa, UK and Europe. Baptist is represented by Project 88, Mumbai-India and his works are in the collections of the Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg-Austria; Devi Foundation, Gurgaon-India and various private collections.

In 2019, Baptist has been awarded research residencies at Artspace, Sydney-Australia; Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris-France and NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. The artist is based in Mumbai.

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