Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Rekha Rodwittiya in conversation with Jyoti Bhatt episodes 4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14

I am delighted to share the remaining episodes of
 Rekha Rodwittiya in conversation with Jyoti Bhatt
All 14 episodes are available on U Tube.

I have made them available to archival data-bases and art & cultural institutions on a pen drive, and am happy to extend this offer to any legitimate institution that desires this documentation for their students, research scholars or faculty members.

It has been my greatest delight and privilege to have archived some of the thoughts and ideas of Prof. Jyoti Bhatt and to share it with others. It is often a chanced upon interlude that can open up spaces for considerate that give greater meaning to ones life. Jyotibhai is an artist of extreme value to Indian Contemporary art history and this endeavour has been to offer insights into his life and work.  

Episode 4 :-
Episode 5 :-
Episode 6 :-
Episode 7 :-
Episode 8 :-
Episode 9 :-
Episode 10 :-
Episode 11 :-
Episode 12 :-
Episode 13 :-
Episode 14 :-

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A filmed interview ….

An interview recorded by the Lalit Kala Akademi Chandigarh

Monday, 15 June 2015

Rekha Rodwittiya in conversation with Jyoti Bhatt

Watch Rekha Rodwittiya in conversation with Jyoti Bhatt 

 Episode 1 on YouTube - https://youtu.be/keaeVEHqF8o

Episode 2 on YouTube - https://youtu.be/H-lA1t0glUI

Episode 3 on YouTube - https://youtu.be/I4uQasISCok

The remaining episodes will be uploaded onto youtube within the next three months.

Conversing with…..

Author V. Sanjay Kumar in conversation with Sadanand Menon
A SITE art space & The Collective Studio Collaboration
21st February 2015

SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda have collaborated for a year to make a series of exhibitions as a gift for the city of Baroda. As both share a vision for art that focuses upon community and interaction as seminal features that we wish to engage with, as well as highlight alternative spaces of exhibiting and discourse as valuable and critical to sustaining an energized and ever evolving art context, this collaboration has proved to be most rewarding in the responses it has garnered. That our endeavor has generated excitement and participation that allows for this idea of cultural engagement to be meaningful for the city of Baroda, is finally what has mattered the most to those of us who have put this all together.

For those who do not know us intimately, SITE art space being situated in GIDC Makarpura lies within the heart of the industrial production zone, making this a venue that defies the conventional norms associated with an art gallery. It is co-owned by Manish Maheshwari & Piyush Maheshwari, two brothers who combine their skills within a very successful partnership. Within this compound exists a fabricating unit, an exhibition gallery, a display space of art products designed for commercial use, a library, a residency program unit & a pop up café space. Such a set-up acts as a reaffirmation for the need of alternative spaces in a city where the community of artists and the audience can more intimately be engaged with discourse and interaction, and where the agenda is not market driven.

On the other hand, The Collective Studio Baroda was set up by me in the traditions of the guru shishya practice where students and teachers live and work together. It is a space of learning that does not charge any fee nor accept any payback via works of art in exchange either. Founded on the principle of trust and belief in the commitment and passion to study art from the comprehension of it being a holistic world of imbibing knowledge and experience, and where the rigors of long hours of studio practice are mandatory, the selection of students and young artists are through invitation only. Teaching, residencies, lecture programs, curatorial projects and fund raising are amongst some of the major activities that we focus on.

Perhaps most significant is that the exhibition Subtextual Documentalists that we showed in November 2014 of Jyoti Bhatt & Manisha Gera Baswani’s photographic archival documentation of their own cultural contemporaries, opened on the 19th of February 2015 in Mumbai, where it was presented in collaboration with Sakshi Gallery, and will then be showcased along with the addition of Korean artist Noh Suntag at the Korean Cultural Centre in in Delhi August 2015.

Integrated within this collaborative program we invited Ankush Safaya, a Delhi based artist to Baroda, to do a one month residency between SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda.  He used the fabrication unit to do a sculptural installation that is now on permanent display in the garden of SITE art space. Testimony to the sense of community that Baroda culturally generates, Ankush Safaya has now relocated to Baroda to join The Collective Studio on a more permanent basis.

In hosting an evening of interaction between Sanjay Kumar and Sadanand Menon as the closing chapter to the year of collaboration, author Sanjay Kumar returned to Baroda with his latest book Virgin Gingerly to talk with Sadanand Menon about narratives that deal with the city. Both of them really need no formal introduction. However it would be remiss of me to skip that formality. V. Sanjay Kumar was born in 1960 in Tamil Nadu. His schooling and undergraduate years were in Chennai. He completed his MBA in 1982 and joined the corporate world in Mumbai. After a two year stint with an investment bank he set up his first business venture in financial services in 1984. Thereafter he set up a software business as well, in the banking space. His entry into the world of art began in 1988 with a business partnership under the name Sakshi Gallery. Sakshi is based in Mumbai and is one of the premier galleries for art in India. Over the last 25 years it has promoted many successful artists and hosted some notable shows in India and overseas.

His first foray into writing was ‘View from the Edge’, a non-fiction publication that was based on a themed art exhibition that he curated in 1995. Since 2008 he has written two novels. Artist, Undone his first novel had the art world as a central character. Virgin Gingelly his second book is a narration on a street in Chennai. He currently stays in Chennai near Elliots Beach but will soon be relocating to Bangalore with his family.

Sadanand Menon who lives and works out of Chennai is a nationally reputed arts editor, a teacher of cultural journalism, a widely published photographer, arts curator and writer on politics ecology and the arts. He is currently faculty at the Asian College of Journalism in Chennai as well as at the IIT in Chennai. A long-time collaborator with Chandralekha, the pioneering and radical dancer/choreographer, he is deeply involved with issues connected with the creation of a contemporary Indian dance practice, and has travelled extensively in India and abroad as the technical director of Chandralekha's performances. He has convened several national-level seminars and round-tables on diverse subjects like human rights, media, visual arts, cartooning, photography, stage-light design, dance, theatre and architecture.

Sanjay Kumar in sharing his territory of ideas related to his new book allowed for Sadanand Menon to take us through a conversational space with the author that  opened up an interpretative space for us to share.

Baroda is known as a cultural center of art that prides itself on the legacy it upholds of discourse and debate being a vital pivot to this city’s creative practices. Therefore it seemed fitting that as our concluding program we had this event that allowed our city the opportunity to engage with a glimpse into how an author defines his premise of articulation, crafts his language skills and transposes his personal experiences into investing his narratives with insights that hold our imaginative territory in sheer delight.

6 Generations:Notional worlds

6 Generations: Notional worlds

K.G Subramanyan
Nagji Patel
Surendran Nair
Manisha Parekh
Sonatina Mendes

Presented 7th to 28th February 2015
A SITE art space & The Collective Studio 

Baroda holds a context of individual significance for each of these artists. Spread over six generations, their art creates a timeline that illuminates some of the key preoccupations within contemporary Indian art as it has evolved within the changing ethos of India’s economic, political, social, and cultural developments. Art history compiles the lineage of multiple ancestries - recording for us how visual language is determined by outer frameworks of influence and personal spaces of resistance.

Baroda has given birth to friendships within each generation, producing through these synergies an intellectual sharing amongst peers. These interactions have shaped art movements, and informed theoretical studies through ideation and discourse, which were centred on collective concerns, thereby contributing in a major way towards defining the visual cultural history of an independent nation that has had a prolonged period of colonial interjection within its political history to address.

Myth and reality converge to make up the narratives of their notional worlds. These works, sometimes playful or ironic, bustling or stilled, or laced with a spiritual alertness that elevates the mundane into a sacred moment, always possess the undertone of urgency to articulate life as it is lived and experienced.

This culminating exhibition that concludes SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda’s collaboration is a tribute to the city of Vadodara. This old Gaekwad city has, over the decades, brought together students and art practitioners from different parts of India, who have received much from this city, and who have equally given back to it, by excelling as visual artists. This show holds a spectrum that umbrellas the legendary teacher to the emerging young artist on the cusp of a future. 

Friday, 29 May 2015

Residency Program - SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda

Ankush Safaya
artist in residence
4th December 2014 to 10th January 2015
SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda
in Vadodara

Measured Metres

Measured Metres

Indrapramit Roy &  Mayur Kailash Gupta
Presented from 9th to 28th January 2015
as a SITE art space & The Collective Studio Baroda collaboration

An artist’s studio is an intimate space, set apart from the intrusions of an outside world. It is a retreat where books come to life, blank papers get covered with drawings and scribbles, and hidden secrets reveal themselves from the subconscious in ways least expected. From within this cocooned space, the artist journeys into areas outside of the ordinary, and at other times brings magic into the most mundane of observations. It is a place where curiosities are rampant, leading to experiments with different mediums and materials, and where methodologies are re-examined to produce altered perceptions. The studio becomes a place of necessary hibernation, where artists let free their inhibitions and find ways by which to develop ideas away from public censure.

Measured Metres puts together two artists who are tenured university teachers, and who as a result have only a limited window of time each day within which to engage with their own art practice. What this tight time frame then produces for them is an urgent insistence to create their art, obsessively and incessantly, making a prolific stream of ideation flow through their studios at all times. 

Mayur Gupta’s sculptures, where nature intertwines with a sense of the nurtured brought to life, are tree forms and fertility goddesses that evoke a sense of the primordial. Whittled from the wood with the practiced ease of a seductive libidinal lover, the sculptures in his studio confront you with a raw energy. These sculptures lie strewn all over his studio; some next to found objects, whilst others are kept perched upon antique furniture along with personal memorabilia scattered all about the space, making it an Aladdin’s cave of hidden treasures. Overflowing with objects and palpable ideas, his studio bears testimony to the passion with which materials are transformed to become embodied with new meanings.

Indrapramit Roy’s cityscapes appear utopian in their quiet uninhabited isolation, seemingly far removed from the violence that tomorrow may bring to them. These dwellings beckon one to find one’s space of belonging in their remoteness, to imprint them with more palpable energies of human existence within the confines of their internal labyrinth. These floating cities, excavated from desires and dreams, allow you to bring your own histories to their blueprints and to perhaps conjure a future of otherness.

The personas of these artists are found embedded in the skin of their work. Each lays bare their findings from life lived and explored, and each creates their own personal poetics from these harvested experiences. They give to us, therefore, something precious of their heart to hold in mutual discourse; where hope conjures the primitive energies of the celebration of survival, and nurtures the will to obliterate despair.

Rekha Rodwittiya

This side of the Forrest…..

This side of the Forrest
A solo exhibition of Vasudevan Akkitham
was on view from the 5th to the 19th December 2014
as part of 
SITE art space &  The Collective Studio Baroda Collaboration
in Vadodara

A poet father, whose words wrapped a young boy in their magic, made for a place of belonging never to be forgotten, even when journeys away from this heartland took the boy far away. In the preamble of getting to know himself as a young artist he found a vast fortune in the treasures of art history. He conversed with himself through the conduit of time that was framed on walls in the corridors of these legacies.

This Side of the Forest frames the preoccupations of Vasudevan Akkitham’s concept of home being central to his work.  He refers to this territory as being a migrant’s dream, yet imaginary and elusive, and in no way corresponding to the actual place he comes from. For him it becomes a life source of sustenance, something he falls back on as the touchstone of reaffirmation of his own existence. It is a subconscious space of attachment that nurtures his spirit, and where the act of painting can unlock deeper terrains where the most meaningful communication is possible in the communion with himself.

The artist’s incessant engagement with drawing as a private space of discourse formulates a major component of his art practice. These notational ideas are instantly caught and held like the quickened pulse of desire, to be momentarily stilled in the pages of his sketchbooks. Unnoticed by others and carried casually without ceremony like a portable world of fantasy, he escapes even in the midst of the humdrumness of everyday teaching in the classroom, to this persistent call of his own moorings. In his studio these miniature-formats then bloom into larger more ordered and designed representations of his personal philosophies, where he paints and draws from the folklores of his childhood and the urban narratives of his adult dwelling, shut away from the pressures of the outside world; and where time conforms to his dictates alone.

The making of a work can often be a protracted affair with Vasudevan, where the image surface maybe reworked exhaustively; sometimes even over many years. His acrylic paintings, layered like overwritten manuscripts, have the final images finding their completion through his painstaking negotiations with the act of finality. This process, unlike the sketchbook drawings, alludes to an infinity that suggests a never-ending span of time in which the artist is unhurried about the final outcome, and where the act of creating becomes the mission in itself. On the other hand the large paper works which are inscribed with imagery that are mutations from the plethora of myths and legends that populate his mental landscape, are fleshed from agitated gestural marks; and the watercolours with their beguiling tranquillity underplay the hidden violence that they contain. Working almost everyday, he has amassed a huge body of work that traces his linguistic journey from his early influences derived from the Trivandrum school of art and his engagement with the figurative narrative movement when he came to study at the faculty of Fine arts in Baroda; and then later his exposure to the New Spirit of Figuration prevalent in London, when he was at the Royal College of art in the late 80’s.

This artist’s studio is a treasure trove, where his work is piled high and deep against the walls. As you look around this intimate space you are encased with an energy that speaks of personal myths; and like reinvented Jataka tales his drawings and paintings open up his world for rediscovery, afresh. The ultimate Sutradhaar, Vasudevan provides you a world of fascination within which to explore and find yourself. The poet’s son now conjures his own magical world of imagery that takes you to his heartland of belonging.

Rekha Rodwittiya