Nikhil Chopra uses performance as a method to question history, identity and self-portraiture, adopting personae that are both fictional characters and extensions of his personality. His performances are a form of storytelling that intermingle family histories, personal narrative and everyday life. Architecture and landscape, the weather, the chaos and the commotion of contemporary life come together in Chopra’s work. The costuming, selection and installation of props provide us with clues to the world conjured up by Chopra’s character. The audience becomes part of the exercise of locating the performance within Carriageworks and in turn locating themselves.

In this new work Blackening IV: Bay 19 Chopra over 3 consecutive days will respond to the history and architecture of Carriageworks. Coal is used as a symbol of the industrial world, a medium to create drawings, and a substance to blacken the artist’s body and clothes. Each of these uses suggests a range of connotations that seek to probe our personal and collective histories and engage us with the present moment. Presented by Carriageworks.

Nikhil Chopra, Blackening IV: Bay 19, 2012, performance installation. Work commissioned by Carriageworks, costume design Loise Braganza, photography Zan Wimberley