NAVIGATION IS OFFLINE
The title of this curatorial proposal refers to the contemporary technologically mediated societies’ overreliance on navigational technologies to identify, access, and reach destinations. The convergence of the digital and the ‘real’ world has turned locations into information which has to be consumed rather than experienced or lived. Screens act as the interface in our everyday life. We look at the world through our cameras and our world has reduced to flat images which are uploaded, liked and shared in social media. Scholars have noticed how ‘screens at once provide (the screen as window onto the world) and prohibit (the screen as buffer or barrier) access to our global social, political and economic realities’. It affects and conditions our understanding of the world. This project is an attempt to address this issue in our contemporary life.
Taking our inspiration from travelogues and medieval travel poetry such as of Japanese poet Matsuo Basho we are envisioning a project which affirms the necessity of looking at the world and experiencing it without the mediation of screens and technologies. This is not a romanticisation of the ‘real’ but a return to the situation where navigation, not only through landscapes, but also through the labyrinth of memories, experiences, and affect was valued and cherished. Like philosopher Maurice Halbwach has noted, the physical space itself was in a real sense dependent on the enduring memories of the group that occupies it. He also notes that buildings are not expressions, symbols, or repositories of collective memory, but the latter’s physical process. Through this project we are attempting to understand such memories, stories, tales and the history associated with the people living around this short trail. We as travellers will chronicle its biography. While being in this trail we will retell tales of our own journeys while also listening to the new tales from Bhubaneswar.
This unique project entails exploring the history, lived realities and social relations of the various communities and addressing issues of access, exclusion, discrimination, etc., and understanding the aspirations of the community. Through these various individual interventions in this trail our objective is to enhance an art practice which emerges from the local community and involves the local art scene. We aspire to use art to promote social, and environmental development in the community. We expect artists to finds new ways of collaborating, exchanging ideas and interacting with each other, and ensure participation from within the community. The final public exhibition will be seen and experienced as a walkthrough from one part of the trail to the other.
- Premjish Achari and Jagannath Panda
Premjish is a Curator, Writer and Translator based in Delhi. He has initiated an independent curatorial platform called Future Collaborations aiming at theoretically and politically informed curation. His exhibition "Things are vanishing before us" was part of the Curators Ensemble for Krishnakriti Festival January 2017. He has curated the show “A Preview to Desolation” at Italian Cultural Center in 2017. In 2018 he curated the exhibition "Workers and Farmers: The Panorama of Resistance" at Khoj International Artist's Association as part of the CISA Fellowship. He is currently the Director-Outreach at Art1st Foundation and also a Visiting Faculty at Shiv Nadar University where he teaches art history and theory. He is pursuing his Ph.D. titled “Temple Arts of Medieval Kerala: Constructing a Regional Identity” from School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, India.
Jagannath Panda is a renowned Odia artist of international repute and is the main inspiration behind Utsha Foundation. Born in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, Jagannath Panda completed his Bachelor’s degree in sculpture at the B. K. College of Arts and Crafts there in 1991, and his Master’s degree in the same at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M. S. University, Baroda in 1994 His solo shows include ‘Nothing is Solid’ at Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, in 2007; Berkeley Square Gallery and Saffron art Online, London, in 2006; Nature Morte, New Delhi, in 2005; and Zamoca Foundation Gallery, Tokyo, 1998.