Saturday, December 20, 2014

bangaloResidency 2014- Goethe Institut

Bangalore is abuzz with German residents who descend on the City in this expanded edition of the bangaloREsidency. 

Our Residency programme has been conceived as a collaboration between the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Bangalore and various innovative and contemporary art/cultural spaces in Bangalore, with a view to offering German aspirants a space conducive to creative output and the opportunity to work with Indian artists/experts, in the challenging context of Asia's fastest-growing metropolis. The Residencies are designed to involve mutual exchange so that both the visiting Germans and the local community reap the benefit of fresh perspectives and expanding horizons. 

The project began with a single residency at 1 Shanthi Road, but has grown in popularity and scope and the nine much sought-after residences that are now on offer attract several hundred applications with each call. Our partner organisations range from art arenas and ateliers to theatres, festivals, NGOs and educational institutions. 

Uwe Jonas (2014)

The White Rabbit
The time I spent in Bangalore was very intense. The manifold offers of the Goethe-Institut, making possible a good insight into the cultural acitivites of Bangalore and India, and also my own research on the urban life contributed to a better understanding of the country. The diverse contacts to local institutions and artists led to a lively exchange about artistic interventions in the public space, which was intensified through lectures and other formats. A great interest in this art practice was shown, and not least through my intervention (the white rabbit) it came clear, that this format is by all means possible to realise also in the urban area of Bangalore. My main aim to get into conversation about artistic interventions, and to pick out their relevance and possibilities as a central theme, also to prove their realisability, was thus more than fulfilled.

Uwe JonasIn addition, it appeared that this stay was no one-way-road: Next to a general interest to keep on the discussion and to eventually also work further practically with students, the result is a cooperation between the 1 Shanti Road and my residency-programme in Berlin, theLichtenberg Studios. Also it marked the beginning of a new project in the framework of thebangaloREsidency, in cooperation with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation.

The White Rabbit

One of the Bangalore's biggest problems is the individual traffic, not only making the city noisy, but first of all creating a very polluted air through emissions, dispersed dust etc. To walk around outside quickly gives the feeling of being dirty. Everything that lays around seems old and worn out very soon. Trying to handle the ever growing traffic by building flyovers is not even solving the problem in the bud, but just worsens the air quality more and more.

Now the white rabbit comes into play: Per se a cute soft toy, big eyes, round shapes, the cuddly “small child pattern“, pure and pristine. The rabbit doesn't appear in Indian mythology, a sign for the moon and the colour white would be the mysterium in case of an elephant.

In its immense size of 4 meters lenght and a height of one meter, on first view this white rabbit resembles an elephant, or suggests an advertisment action of a nearby luxury mall.

HasenfluselThe passengers friendly adopted him, laughed, made jokes, and went to touch the rabbit and mostly also to take a photo with him. Because he was soft and nice to touch, made like a small soft toy fabric rabbit, and stuffed with soft material. One night, while passing the rabbit, it caught my eye that his ears were being placed above his eyes, as if he could sleep better that way. The next morning he looked at the world again and his ears were hanging down on his side.

This beautiful and pure state, pleasingly revealing itself to the eyes of the car drivers passing by, was of short duration though, because pretty soon the rabbit was covered with dust and emissions, his fur lost its shiny gloss and his color changed from white to grey. The dirtier the rabbit became, the more he showed his shape as a thrown away, disposed or lost soft toy – always resembling something sad. After two weeks parts of his fur were already black.

This melancholic moment, the loss of something that one had come to love with – I was searching for with this intervention.

A bomb assassination on Chirch Street in Bangalore on December 28th, killing a young Indian woman and seriously injuring another person, led to the rabbits' investigative examination, on search for possible bombs. The only remainings of the rabbit were a few white flakes out of his innards, as if they had been draped in memory of the rabbit.
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bangaloREsident@1 Shanthi Road

Nora BibelNora Bibel was born in Munich in 1971 and has lived in Berlin since 1999. She travels often for her work, worldwide. She graduated in Photography from the University of Bielefeld and works as a freelance artist and photographer. She also teaches photography in Berlin, part-time, leads occasional international photography workshops and sometimes presents the results in combination with her own work.

A book project for Germany’s Federal Foreign Office led her to Vietnam in 2009 and sparked an intense period of travel and work in Asia. Her main focus there is the interplay and impact of social change and personal fates.

Nora Bibel work 1Her portraiture and book project Que Huong (“Home,” Kerber Verlag, 2011) — which has been shown in Hanoi by the German Embassy as well as in solo and group exhibitions at several locations in Germany — documents how the concept of “home” changed for Vietnamese who returned to their homeland after living for many years as immigrants abroad. What impact do major upheavals in an individual’s native or host country have on her or his personal circumstances? Staged footage from the protagonists’ immediate home environment was combined with short interviews in order to fathom this question. These are quiet, concentrated and precise images seemingly of everyday scenes yet in fact of staged moments quasi suspended in time, co-choreographed by the subjects.

Nora Bibel work 2In early 2014, Nora Bibel was in Myanmar with a grant from VG Bild-Kunst to realise her project “Myanmar’s Driving Force,” in which she examined the effects of the country’s recent radical socio-political change on groups of individuals who played an active part in bringing about that change. Staged photographs depict social activists faced with the frustrations of political deadlock. With partial funding from the Free Lens Foundation, she led two photography workshops on the topic of “Democracy.” The result was a group photo exhibition for the inauguration of the Goethe-Institut in Yangon, in which participants’ unmediated personal impressions complemented her “outsider’s” perspective.

Nora Bibel will next undertake a documentary project—a “bangaloREsidency”— in India, where shifting family structures mirror the rapid rate of social change. Diverse new lifestyles and social codes pose a growing challenge to traditional values and established roles and rites. Nora Bibel will address social change and gender issues in Bangalore by creating staged photographs in family contexts. She will also examine the tradition of family portraits in Asia and the position of women. Is India really as misogynist a society as the media here in Europe would have us believe?

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