Jagrut Raval

'In the Fullness of Time'

Jagrut Raval’s exhibition In the Fullness of Time assembles artifacts from the life and travels of a mysterious man named Narad — said to be a photographer, alchemist, polymath, and explorer — who arrived in the Americas and Europe from India around the 17th or 18th century in search of the Soma Ras, Sanskrit for “elixir of life.” Introducing viewers to Narad’s story, Raval (M.F.A., photography, 2014; M.A., photography, 2013) interrogates canonical histories that have excluded the great explorers of the Indian subcontinent.

Signature image for Jagrut Raval exhibition
Portrait of Man in Oriental Costume [Possibly Narad], After Rembrandt, c. 1850, Gum Bichromate Print, Attributed to Narad, 2021

Raval contextualizes these rare mementos — evidence of Narad’s quest — in a setting of discovery akin to an antique store or an archaeological excavation plot. The relics — photographic portraits, heirloom photo album books, cartographic drawings, gilded branches — connect visitors with unfamiliar histories from the Golden Age of Imperialism. Presented within the gallery, a recorded lecture-performance by Raval chronicles Narad’s journey, as the artist examines the curiosities on display and investigates myths that the objects invoke.

A 2022 SCAD Alumni Atelier associate, Raval will also produce an additional film for the exhibition as part of his residency that further substantiates Narad’s presence in the Americas. Through this deep dive into Narad’s archive, Raval coaxes us to ruminate on the colonial ambitions of European powers to control distant lands and to consider the curiosity-fueled voyages to unknown places made by Indigenous people from colonized lands.

About the artist

Jagrut Raval (b. 1986, Ahmedabad, India) received an M.F.A. in photography (2014) and an M.A. in photography (2013), both from SCAD, and a bachelor of design from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India, in 2011. His interdisciplinary art practice spans diverse mediums at various scales, presented in the form of installations, alternative photographic printing techniques, videos, drawings, and appropriation of found and mass-produced items. Raval’s interests lie in the homogeneity of media that allows experimentation with imagery and its spatial relationship. Inquiries into the notion of time as experience and its relationship to the human condition, Raval’s works critique established truths by investigating, challenging, and subverting perceptions about collective memory in the public sphere — and its manifestation in architecture.

Raval has exhibited internationally at venues including Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan, Delhi and Kolkata, India; Medrar Contemporary Art, Cairo, Egypt; Museum of Goa, India. He is the recipient of various fellowships and residencies, such as the Künstlerhaus Schloss Balmoral Fellowship, University of Mainz, Germany, and the Crystal Ruth Bell Residency, Beijing, China.

Install Views


In the Fullness of Time is organized by SCAD MOA assistant curator Brittany Richmond.


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