Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation IDEA Visiting Artist: Kalpana Subramanian

Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation IDEA Visiting Artist: Kalpana Subramanian

Event DateEvent Date

See individual times in event details.

Event LocationLocation

CalArts Campus

On campus and Automata LA

Wednesday, March 22, 1:15 pm | Artist Talk and screening at Coffeehouse Theater
Friday, March 24, 8 pm | Automata screening

Artist/filmmaker/scholar Kalpana Subramanian will be in residence at CalArts March 21-24, 2023. This residency is made possible through the Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation IDEA Visiting Artist program, in collaboration with the CalArts School of Theater and CalArts School of Film.

For more than 20 years, Kalpana Subramanian has created a remarkable body of work spanning films, media art, children’s books, scholarship, and curatorial work. Her recent work is invested in a cinema of breath: a framework for radical cinema grounded in intersectional-feminist and decolonial thought, alternative approaches to embodiment, and what Achille Mbembe calls “the universal right to breathe.” 

On Wednesday, March 22 at 1:15 pm, Kalpana Subranamian will present an Artist Talk and screen several of her short films in the Coffeehouse Theater. This event is open to the Institute.

On Friday, March 24 at 8 pm,  Kalpana Subramanian will present a rare Los Angeles screening of her films at Automata in Chinatown. The 54-minute program Exhalations includes nine short films, including Subramanian’s celebrated Light Mediated Series. The filmmaker will be present for a Q&A following the screening.

Seating is limited at Automata; reservations recommended. 


Discounted tickets ($5) are available to CalArts students, staff, and faculty. 

Exhalations was originally presented at Squeaky Wheel Film and Media Center (Buffalo, NY) and was curated by Ekrem Serdar. Note: Masks are required for all events at Automata.

About the artist:

KALPANA SUBRAMANIAN is an artist-filmmaker and scholar of experimental film and media. Her current research investigates the poetics of breath in experimental film using a transcultural and interdisciplinary approach. Her work has been supported by grants including a Humanities Institute Advanced PhD Fellowship (University at Buffalo, 2022-23), the UK Environmental Film Fellowship (2006) and the Fulbright Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Fellowship (University of Colorado Boulder, 2015-16). Her films have been presented at venues including the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, Interfilm Berlin, National Gallery of Modern Art (Mumbai, India), UNESCO (France), Antimatter Media Arts (Canada), Asia Society, Union Docs and Flaherty NYC Seminar (USA) among others. She has received awards for her films at the Documentary Festival of History and Archeology (Perugia, Italy, 2015), Montana CINE International Film Festival (2003, 2005) and CMS Vatavaran (2008). Her curated film programs have been screened at the Alternative cinema series (Colgate University, USA), Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (UK) and Simon Fraser University (Canada) among others. She is presently a doctoral candidate and an adjunct lecturer at the Department of Media Study, University at Buffalo.

This program is supported, in part, through a Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation IDEA Visiting Artist Award, and is part of Kalpana Subramanian’s residency at CalArts, in collaboration with the CalArts School of Theater and CalArts School of Film/Video, with additional support from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.