As If – III Country of the Sea

By CAMP  |  Image Gallery

Curated by Tasneem Zakaria Mehta

The center-piece of this exhibition is CAMP’s much-travelled film From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf its India premiere, presented in the heart of the Museum, transforming its historic environment into a cinematic space.

"Country of the Sea" is an exhibition bringing together CAMP’s long term maritime world project in and around the western Indian Ocean, presented for the first time in Mumbai. A six-year collaboration with sailors and others who live and work on the edges of this vast landscape from Kuwait to Mombasa, along the Indian, Iranian, East African and Arab coasts lies at the heart of this project, which has taken many forms. An unusual map which shares its name with the exhibition title has been produced by CAMP in collaboration with young artists from Clark House Initiative, especially for this Museum exhibition. The work is inspired by a remarkable Gujarati chart of the Gulf of Aden dated around 1810, in which we see a drawing of Arabian and Somali coasts close together like two bodies almost about to touch. The map the artists have produced remarkable for its scale - 20 feet by 5 feet - is a poignant reminder of the long ago fracture of the continental drift which is now bridged by the ubiquitous sea trade manned by Gujarati sailors since the 17th century. In Country of the Sea, the coastlines now come closer together and evoke the cultural proximities and divides produced by these seas, so important to the city of Mumbai which also features prominently at one of its edges.

Read More   Press Release

CAMP's work over several years, has mapped through film, text and systemic interventions the living histories of sailors and port labourers and workers on the edges of the trade agendas of countries and corporations. These communities have been living on the sea in a sense and are almost forgotten by the state and the trading houses. They come together in a moving spirit of fraternity, gathering into their fold disparate cultures brought together by the sea and the exigencies of their livelihood. A series of works narrate these lives capturing their pathos and humour.

The exhibition is a continuation of the Museum’s curatorial series, ‘Engaging traditions’, which invites contemporary artists to engage with the Museum’s history and collection. Through the series, artists are invited to respond to the Museum’s collection, history and archives, addressing issues that speak directly to the traditions and issues that underlie the founding of the Museum, yet evoke the present by challenging orthodoxies and questioning assumptions.

Art Night Thursday

MAR 12, 2015 6:00 pm

Curatorial discussion, film screening and walk-through of the exhibition with the artists and Lawrence Liang.
Open to all.

Student Interaction with CAMP

MAR 14, 2015 6:00 pm

Curatorial discussion, private film screening and walk-through of the exhibition with the artists, CAMP.
Open to all students interested in Art, Art history, Curating

Limited seats, please register at

Academic Seminar

MAR 28, 2015 10:30 am – 5:30 pm

This seminar is organised around the exhibition As If – III Country of the Sea by CAMP, on display at the Museum.

Limited seats, to register and for more information
please contact

Download schedule

Public Tours

Free and open to all tours of the exhibition in English, Hindi and Marathi will be conducted by the Museum’s curatorial team every Saturday and Sunday from February 22 – April 7, 2015.

No prior registration required.

English: 11:30 AM
Hindi/Marathi: 12:30 pm

Group Tours and Workshops

Take an interpretive guided tour of the exhibition and engage with the artists’ exploration of the maritime world in and around the western Indian Ocean through film and installations. Or book a workshop, get creative and imagine yourself as a sailor. Map your experiences as you travel the world – where would you sail, what would you see and, most importantly, what would you trade?
For all aged 8 and above.
Available on request from February 22 – April 7, 2015.
Contact to book a session or for more information.

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