Kabir Mohanty





A filmmaker and video artist Kabir Mohanty has spent three decades finding his place between the ensemble form that is cinema with a film director at its core, and the solo practitioner that is often the video artist. Song for an ancient land, in four parts, roughly 4 hours long is this at work. It has been shown in galleries in India, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the Kochi Biennale. Straddling cinema and video art, or in the cracks in between, it takes cinema backwards in many senses, where its scale was not a given, opening up a crack where new questions can be asked of what is the moving image today.

He has at times worked with sound only, and his sound installation, In Memory, 2009, 2012 is part of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Permanent Collection.

Earlier film works have been shown at film and video festivals in India and abroad, Rotterdam, Oberhausen, World Wide Video and Bombay among others.

He studied at the University of Iowa doing his master's in film and video. Later between 2002 and 2004 he was a Visiting Artist in UCLA's Department of Art.


Song for an ancient land

Single channel video in four parts, 4 hours, 2006-2017

A composition in four parts that forms the backbone of what is a non-fictive work on some of the recessive strains of this soil, like the inheritance of difference and Hindu Muslim relations, the place of action or karma, a backbone that not only is formed by the soil but also hopefully forms it; the shooting and editing process, often a question, a discovery, a tribute, or a celebration of that intersection of soil and self, purity of metal, made stronger by contamination and dirt.

Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2016-17

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, ‘Being Singular Plural’, 2012

Guggenheim Berlin, ‘Being Singular Plural’, curated by Sandhini Poddar, 2010

Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai, Solo Show 2009

Anant Art Centre,‘Mechanisms of Motion’, curated by Marta Jakimowicz, New Delhi, 2008

GallerySKE, Bangalore, Solo Show, October 2006

Links to the work:

Part 2(excerpt)

Part 3(excerpt)

Part 4(excerpt)


and now i feel i don't know anything

Film, 35mm, 35 minutes, 1:1.33, colour, Dolby stereo sound, 2001

‘Sidewinder’, a travelling exhibition hosted by CIMA Gallery, Calcutta

India Habitat Centre, New Delhi and the Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay.

Curated by Gerard Hemsworth, Goldsmiths College, London

Riyaaz (Praxis)

Film, 35 mm, 15 minutes, colour, 1990

Eldon Moss

Film, 16 mm, 5 minutes, colour, 1985

Bombay Film Festival

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Tampere Film Festival

Torino Film Festival

Chicago International Film Festival

Hawaii Film Festivals

Tom Berman Award, the top prize, at the Ann Arbor Film Festival

Best Art/Experimental Film, Bucks County Festival

Athens International Film & Video Festival


Analog Video, 28 minutes, Colour, Stereo sound, 1996

World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam

Brussels, Bombay and Dhaka Festivals

CIMA Gallery, Calcutta

India Center for Art and Culture, New York, inaugural exhibition, “Home and the World”, March-June 2001, curator Karin Miller-Lewis.


An offer from the desert

Sound installation with an architect's model and two suspended speakers, 2022

Kabir Mohanty was invited to do an artists’ residency/workshop/outreach towards a public work by the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and the Department of Culture and Tourism. An exhibition with sound playing from two speakers, was held from the proposal with the work imagining the final piece conceptually at the Umm-al-Emarat Park.


Untitled (ongoing)

A miniature installation with 16 channels of sound and 9 video channels, 2015-present

A video and sound installation, small in scale, with multiple channels, seemingly abundant given the small size, the going closer ever more revealing, both with image and sound, a degree of touch also built in, you can pull things towards you, to hear and see even more closely.


In Memory

Wood, pressure sensors, movement sensors, micro phones, sand, stones, stone chips, grass, dry leaves, wires, active audio monitors, 2009, 2012

In Memory was recently acquired to be part of the Permanent Collection of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Sound with Vikram Joglekar

Electronics and programming Biju Dhanapalan, Clifton D’Souza

Hardware design and fabrication Aziz Kachwala with the artist

Studio assistants Sruti Visweswaran, Anand Y



Video and sound installation, with five video studies, of varying lengths from 2:30 mins to 7 mins, 2008

Each of the studies plays on a small 4 inch lcd monitor that can be held in one’s hand. There are 5 LCD monitors that are mounted on a long table 32 feet in length. For sound one takes the single ear headphone and cups one ear with one hand, leaving the other hand for the monitor. You could also just leave everything on the table and watch and hear while resting your elbows on the smooth surface.



Video and sound installation, 9 minutes, digital video, stereo sound, 2006

Sound with Resul Pookutty and Madhav Chari

A video and sound installation where I wanted to ask a few questions through sound and image, who are we or the singular of it often asked within our traditional wisdoms.