I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Connecting with the city - Live Art 2011, The International Festival Of Art Performance

Live Art 2011, the international festival of art performance organized by Smitha Cariappa, our adept in the field, was a special event with workshops, presentations and theory. One appreciated her idea to introduce the still new here medium to the broad audience as well as the city to the foreign participants through works by young local artists along a stretch of Mission and Double Roads spanning the artists’ initiative spaces of Bar1, Jaaga and 1Shanthi Road (November 15). Moving on, referring to, questioning and engaging with the place and people, its actual life situations, ethos and behaviour, the artists established a tenuous and fleeting, yet often vital link with the chaotically revelatory dynamism of the surroundings. 

As such, it seemed to bridge the otherwise prevalent and unfortunate gap between artists and the locale. That the performances were simple, easily readable on the surface and sometimes visually striking, indeed attracted passers by, their responses ranging from plain curiosity or literal naivety to basic recognition, policemen’s bewildered doubt included. The day started on a median with Vasudev C in protective gear cleaning it in suggestive-symbolic gestures, after which nearby school children were directed to seriously paint Mangala’s large kite, while Sapna H S as a little girl was whistling shrilly in control of the traffic, her actions later helping the occurrences’ progression. 

A high-point of sensitive presence in gravity became Deepak D L, his body painted the road divider’s camouflage black and white, evoking a fragile center of calm and stability amid the noisy haste. Another focus was Dimple B Shah who on the side of a petrol station spread her ware of cheap healing perfumes, and attired in red robes, her face a telluric green, fascinated onlookers like an ancient ritualistic performer. A very rough, raw and disturbing but also tender piece came from Sushil Kumar, a senior Delhi artist, who circled under the garbage-strewn flyover to cross the road with his head under an old, heavy commode, indeed letting the viewers sense the burden of dirt we imbibe from around. 

As the night fell by the fuming, blaring junction, Mangala wearing an oxygen mask lit by a green torchlight dared the traffic and with ordinary-dramatic gestures confronted drivers letting both them and pedestrians intuit the mutual danger and suffocation. Whilst those contributions provided culmination points, numerous other happenings kept up the interrupted continuity gracefully or with a subtle kind of obviousness addressing issues of drinking water and trash (Pallem Yamini, Monica Nanjunda), personal confusion (Navya A), the fate of urban birds (Asha Rani N) and farmers (Subramanya), spirituality (Samir Paul) and psychology (Deepak and Venkatesh K N), undermining gender roles (Sapna as a fashionable panipuri seller) or proving resistance to the melee with slow-walking on the edge Raghu Wodeyar listening to music.

Whereas Nilesh S Dubrekar displayed a painting on the ground, Vasudev and team performed a surgery on a fruit cart vendor, its strategic placement on a tyre repair shop’s isle both gathering chance spectators and stimulating artists towards spontaneous fun ventures with available objects. The evening ended with a general mock-gun-battle and constant stair washing at 1Shanthi Road by Siri Devi, after a perhaps misguided effort of contemporary dancers (Jyotsna B Rao and Abhilash Ninjappa). A messily charming frame mapping the process was created by Suresh Kumar G R who followed everything leaving behind a trail of yellow paint drips.

Marta Jakimowicz

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