Jesal Kapadia is an artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Using photography, video and performance art, she explores the potential forms of non-capitalist subjectivities drawn from an ethical praxis of being-in-common, generating an affinity for time and space that is feminist and anti-colonial in nature.
From 2001-2015, Jesal co-edited the art section for Rethinking Marxism (a journal of economics, culture and society). Since then, she has been engaged in organizing, living and thinking together with different artists and communities of care (in particular the Feminist Research on Violence Collective in New York, and the Healing Collective) to create autonomous spaces and situations through which to refuse, dis-identify, empty-out, rearrange, destitute, re-enchant and reclaim the capacity of art in creating new forms of life, especially in response to the political, economic and ecological catastrophes that we live in. Several self-organized encounters, groups of study, pamphlets, conversations, movements, interviews, writings, images, sounds and other ephemera, or what could also be imagined as living archives for building new knowledges and new sensibilities have emerged through these processes. Such practices of commoning, weaving the intelligence of friendship and affection in the connective fabric that allows for removing conscious and unconscious dynamics of patriarchy and capitalism from our body, have been central to these experiments.
Her current work is a chimerical exploration of her ancestral land of Kutchh, imagining maps as well as mapping imagination, poems, mantras, folk lore and songs of caution sung by farmers, weavers, shepherds, for all those who travel and endure migration.
Jesal is an alumni of Whitney Independent Study Program, 2003, and an affiliate and teacher at the International Center for Photography NY since 2004, where she has taught in their General Studies and Creative Practices Program. Her lecture-performances and workshops have been hosted at several artist-organized spaces, most recently at the Artist-Run Yerevan Biennale, Ecoversities Film Festival 2020, Sensibile Comune at the Gallerie Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome, Common Infra/ctions at Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers in Paris, the Summer School at Caffé Internazionale in Palermo. Her artist books, installations and videos have been presented at ICA Boston, Anthology Film Archives NY, Experimenta film festival India, and the Guangzhou Triennial in China.