Karthik Pandian



Harvard Assistant Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies

At the ArtLab, Pandian collaborated with Andros Zins- Browne, choreographer, Ganavya Doraiswamy (PhD, candidate music Harvard University) and Aliana de la Guardia, vocalist.

They worked over two weeks to develop performative elements for the upcoming exhibition Atlas Unlimited for NYU’s 80 Washington Square East Gallery. The ArtLab focused on the creative development of vocals and choreography and an audio recording of songs from the libretto to preserve this performance-based artwork. 

Karthik Pandian makes works in moving image, sculpture and performance. He has held solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Bétonsalon, Paris, Midway Contemporary Art, Minneapolis and White Flag Projects, St. Louis, amongst others. His work was featured in the inaugural Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum and La Triennale: Intense Proximity at the Palais de Tokyo as well as in group exhibitions such as Adventures of the Black Square: Abstract Art and Society 1915-2015 at Whitechapel Gallery; Film as Sculpture at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels; and the 4th Marrakech Biennial, Higher Atlas. In 2016, he premiered his first stage performance, Atlas Revisited, a collaboration with choreographer Andros Zins-Browne at EMPAC in Troy, NY. Pandian holds an MFA from Art Center College of Design and a BA from Brown University. In 2011, he was the recipient of a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award.


Since 2017, choreographer Andros Zins-Browne and Karthik Pandian have been collaborating with Zakaria Almoutlak, a Syrian sculptor from Homs currently living in Belgium. From 2018-19, they conceived, produced and presented a series of exhibitions in Belgium and the United States called Atlas Unlimited. These exhibitions combined sculpture and performance to tell stories of Zakaria’s life – from his childhood spent working in his father’s sculpture studio to his time serving in the army to the civil war and his harrowing journey to Europe and now, his life as a refugee in Belgium and even a speculative future in which he returns to Syria. Atlas Unlimited was presented in solo exhibitions at Netwerk Aalst (Belgium), Logan Center Exhibitions (University of Chicago) and 80 Washington Square East (New York University) as well as in a public art project in Antwerp and a performance at the Graham Foundation in Chicago.

Exhibition associated with this residency: Atlas Unlimited: Acts Vii-X

Image: Karthik Pandian and Andros Zins-Browne, Atlas Revisited, production still, 2016.