Friday, January 31, 2014

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014, Living Walls Book release and more..


Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2014

This year February 1st to 9th will herald the vibrancy, drama, excitement and the beautiful colours of culture. Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, the annual event of art and culture will take place at several venues.  The festival is an invitation to the art lovers to experience a kaleidoscope of music, dance, theatre, literature, street stalls, films, workshops for adults and children, visual arts and heritage walks. Nine joyful days to refresh the mind, inspire the senses and more.

The KGAF is in its 16th year and this year it moves all over the art district, from Rampart Row to Horniman Circle for Theatre,  David Sassoon Library for Literature, Tarq for Literature, Kitab Khana for Children’s Literature, Arbour for Literature, the garden of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya for Children’s Workshops, Asiatic Library steps for Music Concerts, Coomaraswamy Hall for Cinema, National Gallery of Modern Art for theatre and children’s workshops, Max Mueller Bhavan for Theatre and Cinema,  BNHS for Cinema and Gallery Beyond for cinema.

Art Entrance, Artists’ Centre, Hacienda Gallery ICIA, Coomaraswamy Hall, Rampart Galleries, Traffic Island, CSMVS garden, Delhi Art Gallery, gallery 7 for Visual arts, Westside for food workshops, Artist’s centre, Artisans Gallery and Gallery ICIAA for workshops, Cross Maidan for dance and music. Visitor’s Centre ( CSMVS), Rampart Row galleries for Urban Design and Architecture walks.
Space Within Space 2014

Maya Art Space, Kolkata presents a show titled 'Space within Space 2014', the first annual show of paintings and sculptures by 25 eminent artists to celebrate completion of the first year of the art space.

Participating artists are Aditya Basak, Arindam Chatterjee, Atanu Bhattacharya, Atin Basak, Bimal Kundu, Debasish Biswas, Ganesh Haloi, Jogen Chowdhury, Manoj Dutta, Niranjan Pradhan, Partha Dasgupta, Partha Pratim Deb, Pradip Saha, Prasenjit Sengupta, Samir Aich, Sanatan Dinda, Sandip Roy, Sayak Mitra, Sourav Jana, Subhaprasanna, Subrata Chowdhury, Tapas Biswas.

The show is on view till 9th February 2014.

His Story of History
( work by Hindol Brahmbhatt)
Sarjan Art Gallery, Vadodara, presents a solo exhibition of paintings by artist Hindol Brahmbhatt. The show has imagery which deals with icons of society who have influenced the transformation of the world. Hindol’s works document historical realities in contemporary contexts. 
Employing a palette which is subdued and sepia toned, Hindol puts forth serious issues plaguing the society today in his exquisite art works which are relaitic and painterly all at once. There is a sensitivity and an almost human vulnerability to his works accentuating the effects of history.

The show was inaugurated by Jeram Patel and is on view till 5th February 2014.

‘Living Walls’ Release
( Living Walls: Where gallery walls become artist's canvas)

Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi will launch the publication titled ‘Living Walls: where gallery walls become artist’s canvas’ as a part of the India Art Fair 2014. There will be a special meet the artists session featuring, Krishen Khanna, Sakti Burman, Manu Parekh, Anjolie Ela Menon, Jogen Chowdhury, Madhvi Parekh, Paresh Maity, B.Manjunath Kamath, Jayasri Burman, Jagannath Panda, Mithu Sen, Chintan Upadhyay, G R Iranna, Gigi Scaria, Subba Ghosh, Sumedh Rajendran, Sharmi Chowdhury and Ram Singh Urveti. 

The publication will be released at the Art Alive Gallery's Booth F13 on Saturday 1st February between 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

( News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

Listen to Cassandra

An insight into the making of Nalini Malani

(Artist Nalini Malani)
There are artists who make and break records and then there are those who silently raising the bar. Nalini Malani belongs to the latter category. One of the most significant names in new media art, Nalini Malani is gracing the Delhi art scene after a long time. Busy showing worldwide — last September, the Mumbai-based artist opened three shows — Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan, Centre de la Gravure, La Louviere, Belgium and Galerie Lelong in New York. Three continents within a month. With a retrospective at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), Saket, “You Can’t Keep Acid in a Paper Bag” (designed to take place in three parts spread through the year), a solo exhibition “Cassandra’s Gift” at Vadehra Art Gallery, a solo booth by Galerie Lelong at the IAF, we are having a Nalini Malani splash.
Edited excerpts from a chat with the artist:
There is no right time to have a retrospective
Time just presents itself. When a certain body of work has been done. When you feel you can go anytime soon. So let’s just enjoy the retrospective. I feel very bad for some of my colleagues. Somebody like Tyeb (Mehta), who would have loved to see his retrospective. For me, it is possible to have a retrospective because of a space like KNMA.
Yes, NGMA is hosting a retrospective but what are they starting with…The big boys! Zarina (Zarina Hashmi) had a show at Guggenheim. Why couldn’t they have her show? She is showing at (Gallery) Espace but I am saying why not the museum. Espace is a gallery show. It’s so tragic. I have so often been to China. They are opening 200 museums.
Choosing the new media and its challenges
I have always been interested in the filmic concept. There was huge resistance from senior male artists. The pioneers in the field — Navjot Altaf, Rummana Hussain to an extent, Pushpamala didn’t do video then but she started later on, and I. But our concerns were different. We wanted to reach a wider public and we were also afraid that if we don’t start to speak out loudly in the public then orthodoxy would reign. It would be the woman who would have to wear the accoutrements of that orthodoxy. We were helped out a lot by NGOs like Majlis. I didn’t have the camera. I didn’t have the money to ask a cameraperson to shoot it for me. So how to do it with poverty of means? People like Madhushree Dutta, Anand Patwardhan, documentary filmmakers, they were so kind and generous. They lent us footage.
I also did something called “Photograms” which are on display at KNMA. It is cameraless photography. I didn’t have a camera, so I would make my own object under the enlarger and create an image on photography paper without any negative.
Partition remains a concern
I was born in 1946, a year before India gained independence. My parents were victims. It was the best of times and the worst of times. For them, the tragedy was leaving their homeland. They were zamindars. That was a big wrench for my grandfather. The government offered him land in lieu of the land he left behind but it was in the place where he didn’t know the language, the people. He felt alienated. The atmosphere has for me been from where they came from — Hyderabad, Sindh, Karachi. It was almost as if they were in exile. Neither of my parents is Hindu. My mother is a Sikh and my father is a theosophist — believers in Annie Besant. Annie Besant brought up J. Krishnamurti. He broke away from the Theosophical movement saying that I have other ideas. And he had great ideas on education. I continued with my idealism of a new India through the concepts he proposed.
All encompassing environment at Bhulabhai
I knew Vasudeo Gaitonde very well…We all had our studios in Bhulabhai (Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai). There was Tyeb, Gaitonde, M.F. Husain, Bal Chhabra. It was a beautiful bungalow, a multi-disciplinary space. There was a theatre unit started by E. Alkazi. On the lawns of Bhulabhai, he made the first Husain installation under a shamiana. He did Chekhov’s plays there. Then there was Satyadev Dubey, who started the Hindi wing of the theatre unit after Alkazi left. He would practice on the terrace, above my studio. To publicise his plays, I would make posters and draw on postcards and then send them out to people.
My studio is a chamber of thought. I work every day for eight hours. For me it’s riyaaz, importance of which I learnt again from the musicians at Bhulabhai.
First major video installation “Toba Tek Singh”
In 1998, When India tested its nuclear device in Pokhran, there was so much jubilation as if now they have the weapon to eliminate their enemies. And then Pakistan tested its weapon. Somebody came out with statistics that time. If one missile is thrown from Karachi to Bombay, how many people will die and maximum number in so-and-so radius will be children under 15. We became like murderers of children. Is that we want? So I made this work “Toba Tek Singh”.
We showed it at the Coomaraswamy Hall in Prince of Wales Museum and we had 25,000 people. People got drawn to the sound and the moving image. People in India understand the moving image so well.
A work from her "Cassandra's Gift" series.)
The landmark shadow play “Medeamaterial” (1993)
I always wanted to do theatre but I am not a theatre director. With Alaknanda Samarth, we decided we would do a traditional jugalbandi. That was a good experience. In the work based on Heiner Muller’s “Medeamaterial”— a modern version of the Greek myth Medea — theatre, literature, everything came together in this immersive environment. I painted huge walls in the space, in Max Mueller in Bombay. The play began on the street. I had motorcycles going round and round the people in black clothes and helmets as if they were the kamikaze. And then the actress beckons the audience. She performs the first part against these painted walls. The play will be showcased in the second chapter of my retrospective at KNMA.
Medea to Cassandra – Greek myths a great pull
At the India Art Fair, my work “Sita Medea” is being shown by the Volte Gallery after ages and ages. There are certain works which become markers. I just kept it in my studio so that I can look at it again and again. It is that important. What does an art work do? You yourself are trying to find your way through a maze of questions and answers and you take the help of people around you like Veena Das or Mahashweta Devi, Gayatri Spivak, who facilitate certain kind of thoughts. So when I put that stroke down, I have memories of what all I have read and the stress of that recall makes my first thought and that thought makes my drawing.
On being a feminist artist and “Through The Looking Glass” an all woman’s show
The moment society labels you, it puts you in a box. I am a woman so I only work from the point of view of a woman. Do you ever ask a man what point of view he works from? I would love to hear a male artist to say that I am a feminist and I work from the point of view of a woman. I haven’t heard it so far. So far we haven’t heard women’s problems being discussed as our problems. I had a senior artist when I was doing Medea tell me “Beta what all are you doing? Get married.” I made a list of 50 women artists and sent a postcard to Arpita (Arpita Singh). She replied saying that we will have four artists — Nilima Sheikh, Madhvi Parekh, Arpita and I. We started from J. Swaminathan’s Rupankar Museum of Fine Art (Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal) in 1987. It went on till 1989 in five different states.
( Report and Photos by Shailaja Tripathi for The Hindu)

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