Monday, June 9

Re thinking the curation: Can Be Done In Any Corner You Like

Sometime during Shantanu Lodhs performance in front of the ‘british high commission’, and a conversation with Pratul Dash, certain conceptual loopholes in the project came to the fore, and it became clear that the curation had to be re thought and re positioned. One of the very important critiques that surfaced was that a curation coming from a reading of how the growing appropriation within the visual arts discourse had affected the concept metaphor called performance art; especially at a point when the visual art discourse in India is being swept over by the neo lib idea of the spectacle and this is having a profound impact on how an event as a marketing tool is being understood and practiced. Nonetheless the mode in which the curation was conceived was a three day event. Everything said and done the fundamental structural mistake happened there. 'Can Be Done in Any Corner you Like' went on to emphasize the dominant understand of curation as an event generating field rather than a discourse generating arena. If one had to allow for this criticism to shape the future of this curatorial project, then the project had to be re thought…re worked.

‘Can Be Done In Any Corner you Like’ is now positioned as an ongoing curatorial space which works at two levels. The blog (Can It Be Done in Any Corner You Like?), is positioned as a space for proposing and ideating, and also as the domain through which the documentation of the performances is shared and the text generates as the discursive context in which the documentation is embedded.

Planned, sporadic bursts of extensive poster campaign will be used to open up the project in terms of artists and viewers. There will no longer be an invited list of artists, instead the project offers itself as an curatorial platform for anyone who wants to do performance in non institutional/unprotected spaces in the re thinking the discourse. The project continues to be based in the imagined city of Delhi.

A formalized three member team is being put in place which maintains the blog, interacts with artists, ideates documents and fund raises. The artists participating in the project formulate a larger body which guides and works with the team. At this point certain features of the curation have been re instated after a lot of discussions with the prospective team and artists.

This remains a curatorial experiment which seeks to explore possibilities for creating art outside institutional support and spaces. We believe that there is an array of available spaces and agencies who can make such a venture possible (or impossible) but in order to locate re-think contemporary notions of curation one needs to engage with these possibilities. At a time when the alternative has either been forsaken or appropriated the project will seek to work with non mainstream modes of propagating, distributing and supporting itself. The blog is in a way the soul of the project, a site that makes the project completely transparent in terms of ideating, organizing funds and spending. The project itself will walk on the edge of being and not being an institution in a search to know whether such a space is yet possible.

There is a strong realization that contemporary culture supports a wide array of performance practices, and as we work with wider array of artists the focus should not be on the end product, the performance itself. Curatorially a deeper engagement with process is important. The failure of a performance to happen (either through negotiations within the site falling apart or due to ideological disagreements), is not a cause of lament if the process is documented and transparent.

In the spirit of de personalising this project and slowly handing it over to a team, the blog ulr has been changed from to , and the design of the blog has been completely re thought. The blog is the forum for random thoughts, demented mind and anyone interested in alternative curatorial and artistic practice. Short notes, large comments, essays cross posting are welcome. There are no administrative rights as such, who ever wants can come in and change things around.


ravisha said...

nice post! i still am wondering if your taking too much on yourself by promising a platform to anyone who wishes to showcase one's thoughts using performance arts as a medium; though

"Curatorially a deeper engagement with process is important. The failure of a performance to happen (either through negotiations within the site falling apart or due to ideological disagreements, is not a cause of lament if the process is documented and transparent."

takes things beyond your control into was so apparent in mithu's case...what remains to be seen is that to what extent are people comfortable in keeping the entire thing transparent and how open they are to the idea of using a public space as a discursive space for their thoughts and curation...



(PS: i am SO 'spell-checking' all your posts! >:| )

Rahul Bhattacharya said...

hi there,
will be nice if you post this reply on the blog itself.
as per your comment. well things went out of hand cause i was doing all of it by myself. i hope that team members will come in and it wont be trated as my project only.
and after you post it on the log as comment to the post, i will also copy paste this reply to the comment.