Monday, October 29, 2012


Sethusamudram Project 2012  

A Collaborative project by India and Sri Lanka which will be exhibited in 1Shanthiroadstudio  from 1st November to 7th November 2012.

In many ways the Sethu Samudram project will be a context to go into a process of analysis and inquiry of the contemporary socio-cultural and political anxieties and issues that Sri Lanka and India mutually share and bare. The two countries share more than just a geographical affinity; we have always been intertwined with history, mythology and a turbulent geopolitical situation.

Throughout history the geographical, political and imagined borders of India and Sri Lanka have been porous, and therefore shrouded with suspicion and circumspection. This has also been because of the close affinity that India and Sri Lanka share with regard to their historical connections. These exchanges and experiences are in many ways reflected in the contemporary mediations in politics and culture in both countries. Wounds have to heal and reconciliation needs to take root in hearts and minds. At the national level Sri Lanka is in a state of transition after a 30-year war, and many Sri Lankan artists are investigating this in their art. In this situation, what do these global and national transformations mean for the individual at a personal, psychological level? Ultimately, it is clear: the independent individual must assume social responsibility and essay the role of public intellectual.
This 6th residency-exhibition of Sethusamudram project features Lalith Manage and Prasanna Ranabahu from Colombo, Sri Lanka and Dimple B Shah and Prakash Lakshman from Bangalore, India, whom have participated in a collaborative art residency at 1ShanthiRoad.
This residency and exhibition aims to make art a part of the social fabric—both in interactive and participatory ways. It creates space for dialogue and debate, while questioning notions of artistic processes.
These contemporary works by artists are politically conscious ideologues. In these works the artists act as witnesses, free citizens and commentators on the rupture and healing of a nation that has been part of the vortex of inhuman violations. They have also been direct and indirect victims of violence and loss which they could attempt to redeem by giving voices to the voiceless. Their subversive use of material and metaphor, addresses loss through recollection. They gather desperate voices, images and visuals attempting to redeem inhuman action in the name of mindless war.
One could say, a Sri Lankan meal is not complete without “parippu”—a thick dhal dish made tempered with onion, curry leaf and cooked with coconut milk. Lalith and Prasanna explore the politics and social complexities involved in how Mysore Dhal and Bombay Onions became Red Dhal and Big Onions in Sri Lanka, two food items imported to from India. Food is more than what you think it is!

Lalith also presents T-shirts with the word “Connect” written in four different languages on them—Kannada, Tamil, English and Sinhala. It also has a matrix of kolam or rangoli dots printed on it that suggests us to “connect”, a very significant action associated with conflict and resolution.

Dimple unwraps the wounds of a history, and proposes to heal the memory and loss through sea salt. Small bags of salt are gifted to the audience labelled as mercy and forgive, with a hope to erase memory and soothe the human wounds.

Prakash constructs a monument to remember the violence and pain of the body through a multimedia installation. The oppressive boot is iconized in a work entitled “Red Rain”.

These artist question violence by recollecting, sharing, healing and suggest possibilities to heal and connect in the name of humanity.

Suresh Jayaram

Sethu Residency 6th Exhibition – Theertha + 1Shanthiroad
@ 1Shanthiroad, Bangalore, India

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Curtains define and construct spaces, areas and terrains and as such curtains are metaphors for power and processes of inclusion and exclusion. Imagining inevitably requires dismantling/breaking/ dislocating ‘curtains’.

This collaborative project done by artists at the Theertha International Artist's Collective, Colombo is reinstalled in the context of 1.Shanthiroad Studio, Bangalore. In this new location it also negotiates the public/private and inside /outside of an art space.

We are not from here, don’t know how we ended up here, don’t have many things in common, we Sing, Dance, Paint, Sculpt, Print, Spray etc... We try to be normal like everyone, interrogating, experimenting the values of Culture, Life and Experience, but “ART” brings us together to do things the other way around, this creates the bigger meaning to produce and Re-produce the Life and Experience in us as “ART” without separating from self. Meeting with difference which bring us the idea of being together to collaborate the Diasporas of visual form and helps create the conceptual aesthetics and questions how the work of art could be enjoyed not being an outsider. We still remember the our school day where we didn't have much time to do art, but always we gave a quality of time to it to enjoy the idea of image making. Now we have given our life time to be a part of creative humans.  It’s bit hard to understand, explore and enjoy the image making process. The concept of making the image brings the kind of restriction to the way of thinking to focus our self’s to be a part. We are trying to portray the essence of visual form which is going to be a part of the main stream “ART”. This will not forget to say that it’s just not about the “ART” there is a need for something more to be explored in and out.

Curated by
Deepak D L
Justene’s performance unpacks the unruly chaos of Bangalore and exposes the underbelly of a city built on booze.
“Long before information technology made Bangalore famous, alcohol was the city’s defining industry—shaping its identity for outsiders as well as residents. Though Bangalore is often called India’s “Pub Capital”, the pubs are just the frothy head on the pour… Alcohol printed the city’s newspapers, produced its movies, put down hospitals and schools and sports teams—and ruled the men who ruled its people. It caused the worst medical emergencies, sweetened the long evenings and created the brands to which Bangaloreans feel truest loyalty. Yet Bangalore’s identity as a liquor city has always stayed in the realm of folklore. It has never been recognised in urban histories, only in jokes and in its hazy self-image as a town of “guzzlers”.--Karnad, Raghu. “City in a Bottle” The Caravan, July 2012.
About: Justene Williams lives and works in Sydney Australia. She teaches at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney University. Exhibiting since 1991, recent shows include; Outer Spaces Christchurch Art Gallery and St Pauls Street Gallery Auckland, group shows and collaborations this year include Vivid Festival, Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art; Contemporary Australia: Women, GOMA Brisbane; Behaving bodies, Ishmael Bernal Gallery Philippines; Transmission Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney. 
Williams work is held in national and international collections. Residencies and prizes include Maddocks Art Prize, Australia Council Tokyo studio and Stichting BAD Rotterdam. Williams was listed in Sydney Magazine’s 100 Most Influential people 2011 Sydney. Williams is represented by Sarah Cottier Gallery Sydney and Block Projects, Melbourne.

This work has been commissioned by Carriageworks, Sydney.