Born in Calcutta in 1974 and currently based in Goa, Nikhil Chopra is a performance artist who focuses on subjects of identity, autobiography, and politics of transformation. At the heart of Nikhil Chopra’s durational performances is the contemplative act of drawing. During his residency at The Met, Chopra will interrogate how identities are formed and understood through a series of dramatic character transformations and the creation of a monumental drawing.
Lands, Waters, and Skies
12 – 20 September 2019
Lands, Waters, and Skies is a live performance by Indian artist Nikhil Chopra, created for The Met’s galleries. For nine consecutive days, Chopra will inhabit various personae and interact with The Met collection. Akin to a nomadic traveller, Chopra will move through the Museum, following an itinerary of his own making that will query the Museum’s own organizational principles and logic.
This residency is made possible by the Bagri Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Chester Dale Fund and the New York State Council on the Arts.
The full event can be found our events listing here.
Nikhil Chopra is a performance artist whose work generally centres on the remnants of India’s colonial past. Deeply influenced by his Kashmiri identity, Chopra creates characters that are not fixed in time or space, not historically accurate, yet immensely real and endearing. As a performance artist, Chopra collapses the boundaries between theatre and several other artistic endeavours, including set design, costume and makeup design, and photography and video documentation.
Chopra’s ‘Sir Raja’ project is probably his best known work. In this piece, the artist blurs the boundaries between the performance space and the audience space, grappling with the challenge of being himself as the protagonist, while rendering himself as someone else. Chopra has also dabbled in creating art right before the audience, sketching landscapes using charcoal on paper or on the wall during his performances. Chopra graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at M.S. University, Baroda, and went on to study at Maryland Institute, Baltimore, and Ohio State University. In 2007, Chopra was artist in residence at Khoj International Artists’ Asscoiation, New Delhi.
The groundbreaking live arts series at The Metropolitan Museum of Art explores contemporary performance through the lens of the Museum’s exhibitions and unparalleled gallery spaces with singular performances and talks. MetLiveArts invites artists, performers, curators, and thought leaders to explore and collaborate within The Met, leading with new commissions, world premieres, and site-specific durational performances that have been named some of the most “memorable” and “best of” performances in New York City by The New York Times, New Yorker, and Broadway World. www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-live-arts