For research and the making of an animation film on the miniature paintings made in the Pahari tradition displayed at the Amar Mahal Palace, Jammu. The paintings tell the story of Nala-Damayanti and are based on a twelfth century epic poem called the Naishadiyacharita. The paintings will be studied alongside the corresponding verses of poetry.
For research towards a stylised documentary on Hindi pulp fiction that reflects the struggles of the writers and publishers as producers of ‘low art’. It will trace the journey of the writer through the system that enables the publishing and distribution of pulp fiction, thereby illustrating the ethos of the world that produces such material. This project is co-funded by Recyclewala Films Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai.
For research towards a monograph length essay on Sang-Ragini, a signature theatre tradition of Haryana, which combines theatre, ballad singing, music and dance. Studying the linkages between the music industry hubs of Delhi and Haryana, the research will map the construction of this form over time, and document the processes by which they are produced, distributed, marketed and consumed in both live and recorded formats.
For research into the popular subculture of automatons displayed during the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai. His research will lead to the production of a film exploring the mythologies around these religious displays. The film will highlight the working of the low-tech automaton industry, while allowing for a creative and fictitious depiction of the research material in the form of a film. The collected material will also result in an installation piece.
For the study and documentation of landmark art exhibitions in India from 1947 to the present. It will include those exhibitions that were planned but did not materialise, thereby attempting to create a framework by which to address and analyse how exhibitions typify attitudes, thoughts and articulations on contemporary art.
For research, documentation and a workshop with a group of young Warli artists to study the impacts of various influences including Christianisation on their work, thereby tracing the developments of Warli art in the present context. The project seeks to critique existing frameworks and explore new ways to write about and curate tribal art in India.
For research into the history and development of the 200-year-old Doddata performance tradition in Karnataka by tracing how it changed in response to influences from the Parsi theatre and subsequently, the Company theatre traditions.
For research into the construction of the genre of science fiction in Hindi by shedding light on how writers have used their own understanding of both science and the potential of science to perceive, comment on and reinvent their past, present and the future. It will also look at how productions, articulations and manifestations of science fiction influence aural and visual cultures in India.
For research towards a short film and a website on K Ramanujam (1940-1973), an artist who lived and worked in Cholamandal Artists’ Village, an artists’ commune near Chennai. The research will shed light on the nature of his pen and ink drawings of fantasy landscapes and mythical cities, which reveal how his concerns were distinct from those of other artists at Cholamandal at the time. While the website will include documentation gathered from archival materials and interviews with Ramanujam’s contemporaries, the film will be an artistic response to the spirit of Ramanujam’s artwork.