Nihaal Faizal is an artist based in Bangalore, India. Through his work, he responds to already existing documents from a variety of technological sources. In the past, these have included stock videos, desktop backgrounds, fake antiques, family photographs, popular films and YouTube videos. By working across a range of tools and actions - drawing, photography, sculpture, documentary filmmaking, writing and creative outsourcing - his practice addresses questions around authorship, materiality, technology and cultural memory.
In 2016, Nihaal graduated from the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology (Bangalore, India) and recently attended the Home Workspace Programme at Ashkal Alwan (Beirut, Lebanon). His work has recently been presented as part of ‘Between Dog and Wolf’ (Home Sweet Home, Delhi), ‘Sharjah Film Platform’ (Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah), ‘Double Road’ (whiteBOX, Munich), ‘ARCADE’ (Klara Kiss Zip Space, Zurich) and ‘The Real Taste of India’ (Mumbai Art Room, Mumbai).
Apart from his work as an artist, Nihaal has also been involved in various curatorial projects. Between 2013 – 16, he ran G.159, a project space based out of his student apartment in Bangalore. In 2014, he curated ‘Ummijaan: Making Visible a World Within’, an exhibition of the photographic work of his great-grandmother Haleema Hashim (Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi). He is currently co-founder and publisher of Reliable Copy, an independent publishing house based in Bangalore dedicated to the realisation and circulation of works, projects and writing by artists.
At ZK/U, Berlin, he will bring research and practice together as he enquires into both the tools and mediums of artistic production, and urban space as fictional and lived site.
During my time at the residency, I began a series of drawings titled ‘Shaktimaan SFX’, which brings together copies of the various digital special effects used in the popular Indian TV show Shaktimaan. Broadcast between 1997 and 2005, Shaktimaan was the first show produced in India to present both a superhero, and an extensive display of computer graphics. Widely popular, especially amongst children, these now outdated special effects are copied using another outdated technology, carbon paper, which I use as a means of translation. Back in India, the drawings continue, and so do some of the conversations that began in those two months. As such, I had a wonderful time, and if the Goethe Institut was inclined towards offering me another residency, I would accept in an instant.