Touch, 2008.3-channel video projection, 8.4 min.

Action and Magic: A Conversation with Navjot Altaf

Over the course of a long career, Navjot Altaf has experimented with a host of media and materials. Her work, which has evolved to embrace new dimensions, reflects a personal journey, celebrating relationships and mourning losses while making strong statements about socioeconomic trends, especially in India. Navjot speaks out against social injustices through an unlikely formal coalition of the mythological, the abstract, and the performative. In her belief that art can effect change, she cites Ernst Fischer’s “The Necessity of Art”, published in English translation in 1963, in which he writes that “art is not some optional form of entertainment, but a constructive part of human consciousness and social being. Art is necessary in order that man should be able to recognize and change the world. But art is also necessary by virtue of the magic inherent in it.” That synthesis of action and magic, Navjot says, “inspired me a great deal and will shape my thought processes in the years to come.” …see the entire article in the print version of Jul/Aug’s Sculpture magazine.