About The Work
Part of a series of large-scale wall sculptures entitled Urban Epidermis, Surface No. 2 is made from road construction materials in a Dubai factory compound. With the visible fractures, Divecha attempts to draw parallels between the fractured urban surfaces and the fractured human condition. By looking at the natural symbiosis between man and the city, the artist examines the abusive course it takes, leaving behind many fissures, fractures and fragments.
The process to create these surfaces was developed over 7 months during which a considerable amount of time was spent with road construction factories, using cement fibre boards layered with aggregate, bitumen paint, road marking paint and other materials. These were exposed to outdoor conditions during the summer, after which they were driven over and physically abused to create dilapidated surfaces.
Vikram Divecha (born 1977, Beirut) is based between New York and Dubai. His public art, sculptural installations, video and drawings address labour, time and value, interrogating specific environments and challenging socio-economic structures. His practice has developed around what he calls ‘found processes’- those forces and capacities at work within state, social, economic and industrial spheres. These processes are his realm of intervention: Divecha introduces ‘glitches’, which in turn generate an altered, amplified outcome as the operation runs its course. Constantly negotiating for existing material, space and labour, he navigates communities in dialogues with potential participants. The changes he initiates are not simply injected into a system and then showcased; rather, Divecha’s are slow processes, capable of enduring well beyond the time/space framework of what is ‘exhibited’, in some cases generating sustained social associations. By working alongside participants, Divecha adapts his strategies as the project itself evolves. Re-contextualising the ebb and flow of goods through a warehouse, re-framing agency among municipal gardeners who create lasting public works, injecting non-artists into an artistic space, and superintending the re-generation of context as uprooted bricks from a bus stop are re-laid elsewhere - such are the situations created across a practice invested far more in the social dynamics of an actual urban space, than in the hermetic world of the white cube.
Divecha received his MFA from Columbia University in 2019 and is part of the Whitney ISP (2019 - 2020). He has exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi (2017); The National Pavilion UAE, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017)
After establishing B21 Gallery, one of the first contemporary art spaces in the United Arab Emirates, in 2006, Isabelle van den Eynde launched her eponymous space in Dubai's Alserkal Avenue in 2010, representing a pluralistic roster of artists from the Middle East and North Africa. Through exhibitions, book publishing and international fair participation, the gallery prides itself on closely collaborating with its artists to create insightful, and often provocative, presentations that challenge the conventions and ideologies related to the notion of art display and exhibition making.