Art-Articulations is a new feature of ILF Samanvay. It shows the twin problematic of authority/vulnerability in our sites of knowledge and creativity, and brings in seminal artists and curators into the space of the Indian languages festival so as to understand ‘art’ as a transformative language. This component articulates and interprets language as a flow through and beyond the verbal and the literary in our unsettling times.
26th November 2015
Launch of Art-Articulations followed by ILF Site tour for guests
Art Journey begins from Sabarmati, the Festival Entrance at Gate 2 IHC.
From 26 November 5:30 pm to 29th November 10 pm, the following art projects are installed and will be running through the festival. Nov 27 onwards, the show will be open from 11.00 am to 10.00 pm.
Sabarmati: The Portal of Beginnings
(festival entrance from IHC Gate 2)
Sabarmati is where it begins—the threshold of revolution, aligned with the root chakra on the human-body architecture of ILF Samanvay 2015. With Gandhi as our symbol of hope, resistance and the courage to experiment in these unsettling times, we enter the Insider/Outsider space of writers, artists, performers. This exploration of the poltico-aesthetic core of our times begins with Riyas Komu’s installation, On International Workers’ Day, Gandhi from Kochi.
Five black and white portraits of Gandhi based on a photograph taken in 1931 began their journey as a series titled Black and White as part of a 2014 art project led by Gayatri Sinha, Missing Pavilion, done at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. Then they travelled to Kochi; On International Workers’ Day, Gandhi from Kochi again started yet another journey.
On International Worker's day, Gandhi from Kochi
By Riyas Komu
Riyas Komu’s Gandhi is a powerful recovery of the original socialist hope for change. While the radical red about this Gandhi does not call for the use of any instrument of violence—not even his teeth—the reclamation of the revolutionary star as a leading light by Gandhi’s side, works efficiently to draw one’s attention. The man’s continuing struggle and resistance are emphasised through five sheels of the determinant Gandhi placed in juxtaposition to five ills of the times— Swaraj/Control, Sarvodaya/Fear, Antyodaya/Victim, Ahimsa/Violence, Satya/Perception. The poignant faith on Gandhi’s face—an expression that clearly transcends the banality of personal hurt—is brought home to one as Gandhi’s unique gift to the future of humanity, a talisman for a time such as ours that demanded of us immeasurable courage and resilience.
On International Workers’ Day, Gandhi from Kochi is a reminder that the Mahatma has begun a new journey. It is a satyagraha—at once involving Gandhi as the perennial ethical idea, the artist as the agency/medium, and the common wo/man as actor in context— a triadic quest slowly unlocking itself within one’s inner crate: a veritable Gandhi-Artist-Me reclamation of freedom in our stoned times.
Riyas Komu’s newsletter art project Brick, which challenged the logic of the mammoth resource allocation in the 2010 Commonwealth games is revisited and distributed at this venue, as an act of resistance aligning itself with the return of Gandhi from Kochi to Delhi.
Alaknanda: The Transverbal Corridor
(Art Plaza, in front of TERI)
The corridor of transverbal discourses interprets language variously. It opens out a spectrum of festival colours, as if it is the sacral region of ILF Samanvay. The theme Insider/Outsider: Writing India’s Dreams and Realities is explored in many expressions along this corridor.
Nehru Through Shankar Cartoons
A curated slide show of Shankar’s Nehru cartoons by EP Unny
When Jawaharlal Nehru is being posthumously pitted against formidable peers like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, it is time to take a fresh look at the country’s first prime minister. Best done through the eyes of a cartoonist, not because the cartoon is any more objective than the din in the air. But because the cartoonist records history even as it is being made, much like a running commentary. And here is Nehru through Shankar Cartoons, presented by EP Unny.
Legacies of Laughter, Legacies of Loss: Pictorial Satire after 1947
‘Legacies of laughter, legacies of loss,’ is a sixty-slide exhibition that invites us to listen to the many voices of heartbreak, hunger and happiness that resonate across the fraught space of pictorial satire in post independent India. Six sequences, each comprising ten slides, articulate the tragedies and victories that coexist to shape contemporary India. These sequences are: ‘Freedom and bondage,’ ‘The perils of youthfulness,’ ‘Hunger and hope,’ ‘The subcontinent speaks, ‘Animal calls,’ and ‘Shades of heroism.’ The exhibition will use the published work of R.K.Laxman, Abu Abraham, Sudhir Dar, SudhirTailang, AjitNinan& Jug Suraiya, ShreyasNavare and VishwajyotiGhosh to articulate these themes. Its core concern, however, will remain the hopes, certitudes and fears of India after ’47. Does comedy keep us on the outside looking in, or does it usher us inside, only to direct us to look outward? Take a look.
A curated slide show of Bhakti poetry paintings by V. Ramesh
V Ramesh engages with a set of artistic tools drawn from the radical field of Bhakti. In creating a constant interaction between the perspective and aspiration of the object of devotion as well as that of the devotee, the paintings represent the paradox of materializing worship. Ramesh’s work comes to terms with the contradictions of living through a characteristic immersion-non-immersion of one in the other—text/image, silence/sound, neutrality/colour.
- Yellowline Project by Gati Dance Forum
Named after the first metro route of Delhi that connected different parts of the city and changed the way people live and commute, Yellow Line Project is a pioneering residency which creates a space for different art forms to collide and interact in order to give rise to new creative processes and push the boundaries of what we know as dance practice today. Each edition of Yellow Line Project forges new alliances. Choreographers and media artists came together to respond to different cityscapes to produce some of the most exciting dance films that have been made in the country.
- How to get missing bricks back
By Navtej Singh Johar& Ken Furudate
With this ritual of cleaning a pavement up, tracing the missing bricks on it and wrapping unstable bricks together, we wish to bring the abandoned pavements in our city to our attention.
Pavement on KhelGaonMarg
- In shadows and silence
By RajyashreeRamamurthi& Desmond Roberts
Nehru Place, infamous as the market for pirated software and computer parts. Grey concrete high rises dominate. The population pulses through the day and trickles away at night. Deathly silence remains inspired by the contrasts that sit side by side. This work explores the sublime images, essences and choreography, inherent and imagined, that echo in Nehru Place.
5 mins 20 secs
We meander through the chaotic landscape of a large cycle rickshaw yard in Nizamuddin East to experience the various narratives that are incubating in it.
The winter light juxtaposed through the complex stacking of the red & blue cycle rickshaws highlights the individual frame of these vehicles calling out to the dancer for a jugalbandi.
The dancer reacts to the quiet, sleepy yard and its inhabitants using absurd as well as day to day movements.
Rickshaw parking, Nizamuddin East
By SurjitNongmeikapam& Frederic Lombard
One line of tension revealing an unlocated, fragmented landscape that slowly charges the body with all the energy that it contains.
Nizamuddin railway station
- Site Mapping
6 mins 10 secs
By PreethiAthreya&Yashaswini R
An eye contact with a hospital construction site in Mehrauli.
This space in transition is visited by angled sun light, dust, plastic and brick. A body in motion – a fistful of sand, the sweep of plastic. Spine, steps, hand, brick, breath. A site map of the body’s encounter with texture and form, constantly seeking to inhabit space through the impermanence of movement and perspective.
Hospital contruction site, Mehrauli
tarq isan urdu word that implies abandonment, not only spatial but could also be used in the context of abandoning faith
4 mins 19 secs
By Rakesh MPS &AsimWaqif
A dominant aspect of our project was the insecurity of trespassing: the fear of getting caught. Essentially the space has been marginalised by the planned city, but interestingly this provides an activity space for people who are not part of this exclusive planned city. Our work tries to reinterpret this marginalisation as a space for creation even though it is surrounded by apparent dereliction.
Demolished building on MG Road
Exhibition of Performance Photography
Parked at ILF Samanvay
I See You See Me
Curated by: Kanika Anand
I See You See Me presents a comparative view of performance photography addressing issues of racial marginalization and identity politics in different worlds. Each one employs their own bodies as the agency of their statements, ranging from gender biases to the dislocation of the self within its immediate environment. The exhibition highlights the play between the real and the imagined, punctuated in the characters each of us inhabits in conformance with social conventions. The deliberate selection of artists from South & South East Asia accents the theatre of growing nations and their economies, as seen from within and from without. In a world of instant messaging and high-speed communication, the language of these images resists systemic judgments and contrived codes of conduct, emphatically reclaiming a more honest identity.
Melati Suryodarmo (Indonesia)
Khvay Samnang (Cambodia)
Wilfred Lim (Malaysia)
Waswo X Waswo (US)
Narmada: Studios of Voices
(Experimental Art Gallery)
26 November 5:30 pm to 29 November 7 pm
Priya Ravish Mehra’s art project on Rafoogari Making the Invisible Visible curated by Rizio Yohannan Raj
Priya’s work on textile and paper is inspired by the idea of ‘healing’—how intimate and essential healing is when it comes to one’s own body and mind. We tend to go all out to repair ourselves, invest a lot in that endeavor. Priya finds a parallel between this act of healing and the ancient art of rafoogari—darning. As no one wants to acknowledge that a piece of cloth is a damaged one, the healers of the fabric become an unacknowledged tribe. They become as invisible as their work—in fact the perfection of their work is revealed in its invisibility. Priya inverts the paradigm, and bring out all the threads there are!
11.00 am to 1.00 pm
Screening of the documentary film Maruvilli (Call from the Other Shore) on Attoor Ravivarma, poet-translator, and the Debut Vani-Samanvay Distinguished Translator Award Winner. Maruviliis an attempt of Anvar Ali, poet-turned-filmmaker to portray the life and poetic idiom of Attoor, an important voice in the Modernist era of Indian poetry.
Yamuna: The Inner-Outer Stage
26 November 5:30 pm to 29 November 10 pm
11.00 am to 10.00 pm
Priya Ravish Mehra’s work on camonet and jute
The rivers and colours converge here. Installed on either side of the main stage of ILF Samanvay, this multicolour weave reflects the possibility of flowering of voices and expressions.
Riyas Komu’s short film ‘My Grave’ featuring Naseeruddin Shah
This 11-minute single-shot film ‘Grave’ featuring Naseeruddin Shah in a moving act of intense breathing, the subject’s last recourse to life. It strikes us as an epiphany of perception. The breathing subject slowly persuades the viewer to participate in his process of understanding the vital breath. It slowly becomes the viewer’s engagement with her own prana–the inconspicuous, intangible element that may leave her any moment. The 11 minutes slowly turn into a reward; a lifetime’s learning to help perceive the truth of her very living. The film moves one into an epiphanic awareness of how one must reclaim a keen understanding of one’s processes of living as one’s fundamental mode of resistance in these insensitive times.
Amaravati: The Heart of the Discourse
(Stage on Plaza Steps)
26 November 5:30 pm to 29 November 10 pm
Priya Ravish Mehra’s installation on camonet and jute, investigating how nature is manipulated to hide its own original springs. This work, green over the red bricks of the Amaravati steps reveal the possibilities of bringing the marginalized into the forefront of things.
Priya Ravish Mehra’s installation exploring the spectrum of colours on camonet and jute—tones align with streams in a curious insider/outsider landscape here.
Anvar Ali is a Malayalam poet, translator, and filmmaker. He is also a well-known lyricist in Malayalam cinema writing for films such as ‘Annayum Rasoolum’, ‘Njan Steve Lopez’ and ‘Jalaamsam’. His award- winning biopic of poet-translator Attoor Ravivarma, ‘Maruvilli’, is screened at ILF Samanvay 2015.
Christel R Devadawson is Professor in the Department of English, University of Delhi, and the author of Out of line: Cartoons, Caricature and Contemporary India. Her thesis was published as Reading India, Writing England: The Fiction of Rudyard Kipling and E M Forster.
Kanika Anand is an independent curator and writer based in New Delhi. She has a Master’s degree in Art History and has worked with galleries and museums worldwide. In 2012, she was awarded a Curatorial Fellowship by the Ecole du Magasin, Grenoble, France and is currently the Creative Director of Parked, a platform for pop-up art exhibitions in India.
Khvay Samnang’s multidisciplinary practice spans performance, photography, video, installation and sculpture. Prompted by instinct and hearsay, direct experience and media sources, he offers new interpretations of history and contentious current affairs that resist the polarizing language known to media and legal reports.
Melati Suryodarmo has trained under and performed for Marina Abramovich. She is currently an independent performance artist based between Berlin and Yogyakarta whose work comments on the relationships between the physical body and its environments.
Priya Ravish Mehra is a textile artist and weaver, researcher and designer based in Delhi. She is co-author of Saris of India: Bihar and Bengal and research author for Saris, Tradition and Beyond. Making the Invisible Visible, and One Thread Only: Rafoogars of Najibabad are part of her ongoing project on ‘Rafoogari’, the darning tradition in India.
V.Ramesh has shown his work at major national centres and international forums such as the Second Biennial at Havana, Cuba, the Katzen Art Center, American University Museum, Washiongton DC etc. He is the recipient of the Sanskriti Award in 1993, and is currently a Professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam.
Riyas Komu is a multi-media artist and activist working towards reviving art education and developing art infrastructure in India. He co-founded the Kochi Muziris Biennale in 2012, and is currently working as Director of Programmes for the Kochi Biennale Foundation and developing projects focusing on Art Education in India.
Surekha graduated from Shanti Niketan and is currently based in Bangalore. Her work uses photography to archive performance and masquerade. The mundane becomes magical and mythical. The simple play between reality and fiction becomes a poetic evocation of endurance and strength.
E.P. Unny is an Indian political cartoonist and is currently with the Indian Express where he is the Chief Political Cartoonist. He is the author of several graphic shorts in Malayalam, of the travel book Spices and Souls: A doodler’s journey through Kerala and of Santa and The Scribes: The Making Of Fort Kochi.
Waswo X Waswo studied at The Milwaukee Center for Photography and has lived in India for over sixteen years. Based in Udaipur, he collaborates with a variety of local artists in the making of hand-painted photographs and miniatures that are often tongue in cheek comments on his vision of India as the ‘Evil Orientalist’.
Wilfred Lim draws from his racial background and his memories of growing up in a small fishing village In Malaysia that has since been cleared to make way for an oil refinery. His surreal compositions are ironic comments on the state funded ecological degradation that is rampant in most parts of China and Southern Malaysia.