Grant Period: Over six months
This grant facilitates visual artist C F John, choreographer/dancer Tripura Kashyap, and visual artist/photographer T M Azis to present two events, one around the well in Visthar in February 2003, and the second around a quilt in Gallery Sumukha in May 2003, which will bring to the public their IFA-supported collaborative work towards two installations/performances. Walls of Memories, the installation/performance around the well, will comprise a series of 15 installations. The installations are of two kinds: the first set will comprise 60 photographs installed in the form of a photo-exhibition, while the second set has been conceived and designed as a visual complement to a half-hour performance inside the well. A miniature well, measuring nine feet in diameter and 12 feet in depth, has been constructed inside the existing well for housing the temporary installations and the performance.
To build an awareness about the work process leading up to the event, C F John has initiated a discussion with students at the Srishti College of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore. Informal discussions with the artist community in Bangalore have also taken place throughout the course of the project. For the installations, the artists have used a wide range of materials like mineral water bottles, plastic sheets, buckets, dry leaves, bricks, threads, and rolls of bandage. The process of constructing, displaying and then dismantling the installations in the well has been photographed by T M Azis. The artists have been exploring the photographic possibilities of juxtaposing Tripura’s moving body with these installations to create evocative visuals. The installations have undergone many changes during the work process. While the initial idea was to have the children from Narayanpura as part of the performance, it became difficult to get them for regular rehearsals at the site. The final choreography has been envisaged as a duet, and another dancer has been invited to participate. The duet has been choreographed in relation to the photographs, props and the site. The choreography specifically uses the different architectural properties of the well. The movement script has been conceived around the idea of a woman interacting with her shadow. They are also exploring the idea of a third dancer moving up on a rope ladder along the wall of the well.
Walls of Memories has been conceived as a two-day event, and the performance inside the well is scheduled on two consecutive evenings. The second phase of the dissemination will focus on the quilt event in the Gallery Sumukha. Tripura Kashyap has conceived a piece of solo choreography in three parts: a series of pure movements based on the structure and shape of the quilt as an object, narrative gestures that connect the quilt with other objects, and movement phrases that tie her personal associations with quilts to John and Azis’ larger idea of quilts as a metaphor for the weaving together of the last ten years of artistic interventions in Bangalore. The installation/performance in Sumukha would, therefore, use images from earlier installations. The collaborators have approached other Bangalore-based artists like Ramesh Kalkur, Raghavendra Rao, Smitha Cariappa, Sheila Gowda and others, with the hope of integrating their work into the metaphorical quilt. Three slides from previous art events curated by John will also be used for the choreography. Azis has already taken a series of photographs of Tripura’s moving body juxtaposed against other objects.
The music composed for the performance attempts to consolidate a soundscape comprising changing television channels, pauses and pieces of conversation, rain and wind chimes. The light design will be finalised in response to the installations and choreography during rehearsals. While the performance is scheduled for two consecutive evenings, the installations and photo-exhibition would be on display at Sumukha for a week. This dissemination grant would enable them to organise, set up, fine tune and present the installations and choreography at the well, and at Sumukha, to a larger viewership. The artists will also design a set of publicity material. Though the dissemination grant does not support it, the artists will document the events on video. The collaborators also plan to organise extensive media coverage prior to the two events.