FEB 27 – It will be impossible for most to ignore the claustrophobia that is wont to creep up when they find themselves enclosed in a small, squarish room confronting a blown-up projection of a video in which scenes and colours flash and change at an almost epileptic frequency. The experience of watching Humanimal, a 47-minute performance by Lora Dimova and Ana Gutieszca, as its recorded version is being screened at the Gallery Mcube in Chakupat can be a testing one in this sense. The screen flashes disturbingly as combinations of red, black, yellow and white create startling images of death and degeneration. And the music—a droll, monotonous, mechanical-demonic screeching-chanting sequence of sounds—keeps assaulting the ears all the while.

I couldn’t help myself as the nausea kicked in, and was much relieved when the performance, and the video that had recorded it, came to an end. Gutieszca, as I have since come to learn, is a Mexican visual and sound artist whose work “deals with drawing, and its deconstruction into sound in performance art” while Dimova is a Bulgarian multidisciplinary artist who “explores possibilities of physical transcendence, psychic orders and disorders, alternative existence, and other body and mind matters” in her art. No wonder then that their three-quarters-of-an-hour-long video proved a challenge to watch, much less in a sufficiently peopled room that was also rather insufficiently dimensioned for the purpose for which it was being used.

That Gutieszca and Dimova are out to disconcert their audience is evident from the start, and their Humanimal is powerful, even transcendent. I wonder, though, how many of us in Kathmandu have the patience and visual-aural education to view it in its entirety for what it is. It is easy to read the video as a commentary on the animalism that humanity is so vehement on denying in itself.  But the nuance of the performance, the significance of its full 47 minutes, might end up lost here, as it was on me. And because the two-hour succession of seven performance art videos—being screened simultaneously at Lalitpur’s Mcube and in Finland’s Helsinki-based Third Space under the Made in mind | Nepal-Finland Screening Project banner—begins with this video, Humanimal sets something of a claustrophobic tone for the entire viewing experience. The sense of being closed up in a small room with nothing to do but look at the screen in front of you and listen to the sounds blaring out of a set of speakers set in its corner—no matter how easy or difficult that may prove to be—leaves the viewer feeling robbed of a choice.

A sense of being closed up lingers even as the much easier to watch, but less easily comprehensible and more political State of Nation IV, part of a performance series that the Messianic Research Centre for Visual Ethics (MRCVE) started in 2010, follows. As recorded at the GlogauAir Contemporary Arts Centre in Berlin in 2012, State of Nationa IV analyses, according to the official Mcube and Third Space introductions, the “fundamental localisation of nationalism, and takes detailed action to reveal its basics”. What nationalism in our time is, the artists seem to be purporting here, is a long thread of cultural-commercial symbols that have as much value as the waste that comes out of our rear ends every morning; nobody would want to touch that thread. MRCVE has such an absurd-hilarious way of articulating this statement that their assertion still seems fresh close to a century since humanity’s faith in nationalism and rationalism was irreparably shaken by the great world wars.

The “brutal sounds and harsh movements” of Sabotanic Garden follow next with a recording of their 2009 performance of Hever. Their work is introduced as having “neo-folkloristic and ritualistic influences (that) crash with twisted humour and a free-space oriented physical approach”. The carefully constructed manic intensity of their performance does not belie this introduction, but then again, the video is something of a challenge to get through. At 43 minutes long, it is something Nepali viewers are certainly not used to, and one feels like one needs to be on a certain plane of hyper-consciousness if one is to come close to communing with the performance. The very nature of the exhibition space—the screening space, rather—does not help much either, and the issue of how we in Nepal might learn to better access such art is one that needs serious pondering.

Performances by the Nepali artists—Jupiter Pradhan, Saurganga Darshandhari, Prithvi Shrestha and Manish Lal Shrestha—are much more accessible to viewers here. At close to five minutes each, these performances are what the Nepali public is most used to viewing, and because they deal with issues that are close to home, they are much easier to access as well. Jupiter Pradhan’s F_air_are_ear Play, recorded in December of 2011, and Manish Lal Shrestha’s Rebirth, recorded in February of 2014, stand out as the better conceptualised and executed of the four, while Darshandhari’s Politics (performed in December 2014) comes across as the weakest. Prithvi Shrestha hovers somewhere in between as his Sound (also performed in December 2014) fails to deliver on the promise of its central concept: the association of life with sound.

In Darshandhari’s video, shot at Bouddha’s Taragaon Museum, the artist comes across as going through a series of motions whose significance does not carry through to her actions. As she throws a bunch of colourful feathers in the air and rubs her hands and feet in red vermillion and gold dust by turns, the glaringly obviously symbolisms of these colours (red rebellion and gold greed would be one) do little to transform ‘action’ into ‘art’. Pradhan’s performance, on the other hand, is a joy to watch. As the gold-faced, sharp-nosed Brahmin of Nepali politics and governance (the Bahun Baje who is simply everywhere), he delivers a powerful pastiche that is not just relevant to our time but also ingenious in how cleverly it has been crafted. Shrestha’s Rebirth is pretty straightforward in its execution, but the artist’s use of movement, light, sound and colour give this performance a character that does its central premise more than fair justice. As the artist struggles on the floor, inside a bright, red, cumulous cocoon that he cannot find his way out of, it is as if he is performing the dance of creation; the temple bells chiming in the distance and the light of the hundreds of candles around him only complete this dreamscape.

Gallery Mcube and Third Space have gotten together to screen these videos with the intent of “presenting works strongly bound to each other through the notions of personal and collective freedom”. While these notions are more easily accessed in some videos than in others, this first of what will likely be more Nepali-Finnish collaborations, I think, serves to introduce the Nepali public to contemporary global performance art. The genre is not as easily recognised as ‘art’ here as are paintings and sculptures, but as a form that emerged exactly because more traditional ones proved insufficient in ‘expanding the boundaries of art’—something our contemporary artists seem to be endeavouring to, it will be interesting to see how it will come to be accepted and understood in Kathmandu.

Screening begins at 1 o’clock this afternoon

by Rachana Chettri/ The Kathmandu Post




Open Call for AIR-MCUBE (Local Artists), Nepal

Brief description of residency program AIR_MCUBE, Artist in Residency Mcube is completely self-organized and suitable for self-directed projects. This residency program is awarded to local visual artist from Nepal, who has potential in working in various visual art practices like painting, printing, sculpture, installation, performance art, multi-media etc. Artists, writers, media artists, sound artists and composers can apply for this residency.

Artists will have to be funded by themselves. The compact studio space is ideal for intensive focus on for six weeks project. Disciplines and media
• painting, printing, sculpture, installation, performance art, multi-media

Residency conditions 

Number of Artist’s resident at one time – 2

Expenses paid by artist

• Travel, Food, Material

Expectations of the Artist

• Preparing work for Open House Exhibition / Maintaining tidiness / Helping / Presenting work according to Schedule.


• Internet Connection
• Studio Space
• Open House Exhibition
• Studio Visit
• Presentation
• Resource room/ Library
• Common Kitchen
• Common Bathroom

Number of studios – 1

Application Procedure

  1. CV
  2. 10 images of Previous work in JPEG format.
  3. Project Plan about 200 words.
  4. Copy of Nepali Passport or Citizenship.
  5. Send email to gallerymcube@gmail.com
  6. 00977-1-5260110 | 9851170110



MADE IN MIND I Nepal-Finland screening project

Profile of the Artists and Art works from Finland

Sabotanic Garden

Brutal sounds and harsh movements from Finland. Sabotanic Garden is uncompromising international performance and music group. Neo folkloristic and ritualistic influences crashes with twisted humor and free space orientated physical approach. Sabotanic Garden was established in 2006 by performance & conceptual artist Pasi Mäkelä and sound designer Jussi Saivo.


Performance description:



Obscure study and portrait of everyday life and death. Voyage to the dark matter and beyond.

Drunken Man Caused Exceptional Damage

Early Wednesday morning, police arrested an under 30-year-old man who had caused much damage overnight.

According to police, the man had intruded into a hotel room and stolen the belongings of a guest. Thereafter, the man’s drunken trip took him to the parking lot of a clothing shop, where he stole a lorry. After picking some flowers in a nearby garden, he reversed the lorry into a bakery wall, and crashed into the coffee shop.

Next, he stole a van from a car dealer. He ended his ride by first breaking the front door glass of a block of flats, and then making a man size hole into a newsagent’s wall.

The Messianic Research Centre for Visual Ethics

The MRCVE Artists Group – consisting of Jussi Matilainen, Asko Nivala, Janne Rahkila and Simo Saarikoski – was founded in 2002. During their performances, which exploit the traditions of scientific presentation and performance art, the group‘s research takes the artistic form of performance lectures transformed into theatrical spectacles. Documentations of these projects are, at times, realized through film art, or, at others, through experimental media art. In a video screening, a viewer can find oneself part of a performance as images turn into flesh.

In the last ten years of cooperation, they have performed in Europe and United States in addition to various single events in Finland. The State of the Nation I-IV (2010 – 2012) series was presented in Helsinki (FI), Malmö (SWE), New York (US) and Berlin (GER).

MRCVE has also collaborated with German artist Johnny Amore in two projects: 7 for the Price of 1 (a performance tour in Germany and the Netherlands 2010) and Operation Neuschwanstein (Germany 2008). The results of their research have been published as a book and in several documentary films.

Performance description:

“State of Nation IV”.

Second Performance Festival at Glogauair, Berlin 2012.

”State of The Nation” is a performance series which started 2010. In this series MRCVE explores nations ability to confront alterity and understand their own roots. This happens in the act of performance, where MRCVE uses audience as a manpower in test situation environment. ”State of The Nation” also takes deep look to analyze fundamental localisation of nationalism and takes detailed action to reveal its basics. Every single performance of the series is culturally related to its location and forms the whole ensemble, which is functionally in all possible circumstances throughout the world.

Lora Dimova & Ana Gutieszca

Lora Dimova (Bulgaria, 1981) is a multidisciplinary artist, working in the field of performance, video, photography and installation. She explores possibilities of physical transcendence, psychic orders and disorders, alternative existence and other body & mind matters, related to the post-human way of being.

Lives and works in Helsinki, Finland.

Ana Gutieszca (Mexico, 1984) is a visual and sound artist born in the dry lands of the northern Mexican desert. Her work deals with drawing and its deconstruction into sound in performance art. Her background in visual arts has influenced her approach to the sonic field, where she explores the acoustic qualities of drawing through the sonification of graphite, and the creation of analog and digital instruments.

She is co-founder and cultural producer of Third Space; a gallery located in the center of Helsinki where curates the Sound Room project.

Lives & works in Finland.

Performance description:


T.E.H.D.A.S Live & Dead Art exhibition. Pori Art Museum. Pori, Finland 2014.

HUMANIMAL stems from the notion of deconstruction and reconstruction of ideas concerning mankind and particularly the human/animal relation. Footage from a butchery in Mexico is used: pigs were slaughtered on the background of a Mexican love song coming from the local radio. The lyrics of that song were translated in English and used in the performance with live voice processing.

Armed with the power of sound, voice and visual imagery a world of chaos and disruption is created. The incorporated aesthetics bring attention to the politics and poetics of a less anthropocentric world where the inner animal is unleashed, aware of its own powerful symbolic nature. What inevitably follows is a total deconstruction of identity, challenging the idea of what human is.

Profile of the Artists from Nepal

Jupiter Pradhan received his BFA in painting / printmaking at Fine Art College, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal and MFA in painting at University of Development Alternative (UODA), Dhaka, Bangladesh. He was awarded first prize; Red Cross Nepal (2000), honorable award; UODA, Bangladesh (2008) and special award (alternative medium); National Exhibition, Nepal (2011). Jupiter attended art residencies at Britto – Bangladesh (2007), Fukuoka Asian Art Museum – Japan (2011), National Museum of Contemporary Art – S. Korea (2012) and Marfa – Nepal (2013). Since 2005, he had his 4 solo exhibitions and several group shows in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Japan, S. Korea, Denmark and Canada including 13 Asian Biennale, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Chanwong Asian Art Festival, Chanwong, S. Korea. Though He was trained as a painter, he is also working with other mediums like Installation, Performance, and Video Art etc. Most of his current works are based on socio-political and cultural issues, utilizing local technical support, natural, traditional-cultural material and found objects.

Lives & works in Nepal. https://jupiterpradhan.wordpress.com/

Prithvi Shrestha is a visual artist from Nepal. He has received several awards for his outstanding performance in art. He has participated in several group shows and exhibitions in Nepal as well as in America, Dubai, Bangladesh, India and Japan and has participated in artist residencies in Britto art trust 2012, and porapara a space for artists 2008, Bangladesh. he has participated in 13th and 15th Asian art biennale at Bangladesh. He participated in the 17th NIPAF Asia Performance Art  Series 2014 ,Tokyo, Miyazaki, Nagano in Japan. He got the award from The World Bank South Asia Region and the World Bank Art Program USA 2012. Some of his major solo exhibitions are ‘Dristi 1’ (1994), ‘Dristy 2’ (1998), ‘Visible Lines’ (2007) and his recent  major solo exhibition, ‘Astitow (Existence)’ took place in 2011 at the Siddhartha Art Gallery in Kathmandu. He is a Founder of Bindu, a space for artists.
Lives & works in Nepal.

Performance Description:


Life is where there is sound and there are art and cultures associated with life. Each and every species on the earth has its own peculiar sound .These sounds has touched each individual in its own way. Someway, somewhere I feel like these sounds are slowly disappearing from our life. The sound of natural rivers and streams . The sound water makes while dashing with the stones and rocks in the river, and the sound of different traditional instruments. People are trying to abolish all of these sound, the sounds that have touched each and every corner of our mind and heart for the purpose of retaining our existence. These sounds are still playing softly somewhere within my thoughts and I can feel it in my heart. I have tried to show these things through my performance where the head is covered fully with a drape bell and by making sounds with the stones I am trying to make the sound of the nature. This sound has touched everyone and our existence lies within the sound of the nature.


Saurganga Darshandhari is a visual artist and printmaker based in Kathmandu. She has frequently shown her artworks in Nepal, Bangladesh, India, South Korea and Srilanka and has participated in artist residencies in Srilanka, Bangladesh and South Korea. She has also taken part in the Kathmandu International art Festival. She has participated in 13th and 15th Asian art biennale at Bangladesh. She participated in the 19th Nippon international performance art festival at Tokyo, Nagano, Osaka, in Japan 2013. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Tribhuvan University and Master’s degree in printmaking from University of Development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has won several awards and was felicitated with best media award from university of development Alternative, Dhaka, Bangladesh 2008. Basanta Women’s exhibition National Academy of fine Art 2012, National  Regional Award Nepal Academy of  Fine Art 2014.Recently she is awarded from Australian Himalayan Art Foundation Award 1014. Darshandhari teaches printmaking at Tribhuvan University Lalitkala and Sirjana collage of fine art. She is a founder member of Bindu, a space for artists.
Lives & works in Nepal.
Performance Description


Almost all of our work is directly or indirectly influenced by politics. It is because of this politics that may changes occur in our society. All the politician consider themselves as good person and justify their doings whereas they always criticized their opponents and point fingers on others politicians those creating a state of chaos and confusion among the people. But the same politicians can go to any extend when it comes to achieving powers, they can degrade to any state and for the sake of power/authority they control the common people like puppets. Even after all these wrong doings the so call the politicians still call themselves a just person. The white dress my performance symbols the purity and the colorful feather as a common people which is very light and easily floats into the air. The politicians are blowing as to wherever direction they us to blow. Similarly I am linking red color with the corruption and in contrast golden color as the pure form. So I tried to show the politicians whose hand is full with corruption are going pure works, the works with which the future of the country and its people is depend on.

Manish Lal Shrestha has completed his Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts from Sir J.J. School of Fine art, Mumbai, India in 2001. Thirteen solo Art exhibitions and several workshops in Switzerland, France, Pakistan, Srilanka, India, USA, Holland and Nepal in his credit, made him well received Multi-Disciplinary Visual Artist of Nepal. He received several awards, including National Fine Arts Award in 2011 from Nepal Academy of Fine Arts. He has participated in many residencies including Artist in Residence, Changdong Artist Studio, National Museum of Morden and Contemporary Art, South Korea  in 2014, VASL Artist Residency, Karachi in Pakistan 2008 etc and also part of curatorial team in Arts of Nepal, the Art Center Highland Park, Chicago, USA in 2012. He is Founder/ Executive Director of Gallery Mcube, Nepal. He curates AIR_MCUBE artist in residence Local and International in Nepal. He is a lecturer of Sirjana College of Fine Arts, Nepal.
Lives & works in Nepal.

Performance Description

“REBIRTH” performance art work by Manish Lal Shrestha has staged in Nepal 2014. In this work he tried to get out of the occupied space of limitation as a womb with natural sound effect of suffocation and temptation of outer world. It was really interactive performance where he has involved entire audiences to light up the candles. Many volunteered were there for the work in sound, light and carrying to the performance area.
I wanted to create real life time experience of existence through sound light and performance which is really a powerful expression of reawakening of self being and self realization. He states.

About Mcube

work by resident artist Elsa Fraysse from New York

Mcube (M3) is newly established Alternative Art Space for Visual Art based in the Heart of Lalitpur, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Mcube host various events to improve appreciation in Art through talk series, Artists residency exchanges, visual art exhibitions, supporting local artists through resources and publications. This space is established in the year 2011 to create Visual Art Culture into mainstream affair with diverse art genres. Our area of concern is community art, contemporary visual art practices like performance, videos, installation, painting, sculpture, photography etc.
Gallery Mcube is truly giving the effort for the art management practices and look after the curatorial parts. Since Nepal has a very diverse traditional culture within small group of audiences, we try to extend our border to larger audiences with our creativities.

Viewing AIR_MCUBE Local Resident Artist Sabita Dangol’s works.

Gallery Mcube is keen in building up community through Art. Since the contemporary visual art practice has unlimited possibilities in our society we still are left out and undergoing with difficulties. To get rid of all these hardship, Gallery Mcube is initiating to create a space for Local and international Artist communities to create, share and collaborate. Now it is time for Artists to lead the world, to build up aware communities, to create feeling of responsibility and act upon. But the opportunities for the Artists are very limited in Nepal specifically concentrated only in the Kathmandu valley; the residency project could be the really valuable space and opportunity for the upcoming generation. Mcube is also looking forward to expand its horizon to other cities in Nepal.

Anil near banner
Anil’s Performance
Anil’s Presentation
Ritesh’s Performance
After Ritesh Maharjan Performance at Gallery Mcube
After Ritesh Maharjan Performance at Gallery Mcube
Ritesh’s Presentation