Alt+Shift+Studio: Vikram Divecha


Negative Heaps (of designated waste), 2015
Research image, Mosaic pattern tiling work
West Underpass (now D 86, Al Mustaqbal St) connecting DIFC and Business Bay, Dubai
Courtesy of the Artist

In this episode of Alt+Shift+Studio, UAE based artist Vikram Divecha unravels the cityscape as his studio, through lens of collective memories and tunnels systems. 

Vikram Divecha (b. 1977) is a Beirut-born artist and educator who grew up in Mumbai and is based in the UAE. He holds an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University and was a participant of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study program. Divecha’s practice focuses on ‘found processes’ – a term he uses to describe the urban operations he investigates and deploys. Found processes depend on forces and capacities at work within existing commercial and social structures that are in place in the Gulf region – ranging from municipal gardening, wholesale exporting, railway scheduling, architectural services, demolition and more. His work has been exhibited regionally and internationally at the 57th Venice Biennale’s UAE National Pavilion UAE (Venice), the 13th Sharjah Biennial (Sharjah), the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Goethe-Institut Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi), Jameel Arts Centre (Dubai), the Centre of Contemporary Art (Warsaw) and The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (New York). Divecha has received grants, commissions and scholarships from 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 and Warehouse421. He currently teaches as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at the New York University Abu Dhabi.

Vikram Divecha portrait by Elias Trad

Alt+Shift+Studio is a series of online conversations and video tours that examine the intersection of infrastructures and ideas in contemporary artistic practice. In its 2023 edition, the programme is curated by Himanshu Kadam who delves into the theme of ‘Fractured Grids’. Inviting artists from South Asia and its diaspora, the series offers insights into the spaces they inhabit and how local topographies inform their practice. The new edition navigates through cities in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and the UAE, with insights into how ecology, war, civil movements and migration shape contemporary art.

Series editing by: Nikhil KC

An initiative by Ishara Art Foundation