Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art and Art History
Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University
Beirut-born, Mumbai-bred Vikram Divecha is an artist and educator based in Dubai. He holds an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University and participated in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study program. Divecha has taught at the American University of Sharjah in the College of Architecture, Art, and Design and brings extensive experience as a creative professional in the cultural and media sectors.
Divecha's practice often brings invisible structures into plain view to raise questions about agency, ethics, and value. This he arrives at by challenging the nature and modes of artistic production. Meaning-making is not limited to the reception of the artwork but emerges within the social processes of artistic production itself. Divecha has come to define this approach as 'found processes' - those forces and capacities at work within the state, social, and industrial spheres. Working with available material, space, and labor, Divecha attempts to realign the social and urban systems we inhabit by introducing alterations and interventions. Disrupting maintenance rigor with vernacular gestures, Beej (2017) activates the potential for farming amongst Sharjah's municipal gardeners. Delaying a train in Paris as an orchestrated artistic gesture for Train to Rouen (2017) questions our relationship with time, light, and the railway industry. For Warehouse Project (2016), Divecha bartered the exhibition space with a trading company to re-contextualize the ebb and flow of goods, allowing the market's hand to govern the output. In his ongoing project, Veedu (2016-) examines the influence of Gulf architecture in Kerala by closely following the design process over AutoCAD renderings. His recent film Dohrana (2021) continues his collaboration with Sharjah's municipal gardeners, exploring Urdu poetry and choreography within the ever-green aesthetics of urban landscaping. Divecha recently made his first curatorial endeavor with 184 Nails (2022), which unpacks Hassan Sharif's semi-system works in a non-static exhibition. Despite interacting with largely invisible systems, his works have definite materiality and formal rigor. Divecha's engagements translate into public art, site-specific interventions, installation, film, painting, drawing, photography, and text.
Exhibitions include: El Dorado, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2022); Portrait of a Nation II, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2022); Sharbaka: Entanglement/Attunement, 19 WSN, New York (2021); So Different, So Appealing, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi (2021); On Foraging, Expo 2020, Dubai (2021); Love, Labour, Leisure, Goethe-Institut, Abu Dhabi (2021); Conjuncture, The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, New York (2020); Towards Opacity, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2020); Second Hand, Jameel Arts Center, Dubai (2019); Living Room: UIT (Use it together), ISCP, New York (2019); Rock, Paper, Scissors: Positions in Play, National Pavilion UAE, 57th Venice Biennale (2017); Tamawuj, Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); Co-Lab, Louvre Abu Dhabi, UAE (2017); Binary States India-UAE, Kochi (2016); Warehouse Project, Alserkal, (Dubai 2016); DUST, Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw (2015); A Public Privacy, DUCTAC, Dubai (2015). Grants, commissions, and scholarships: Sharjah Art Foundation; the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture; Alserkal Avenue; Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi; Institut français; the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation; Warehouse421; Goethe-Institut. Residencies: Land Art Mongolia; Temporary Art Platform, Lebanon.