The title of the work is a black and white band (on the left) that holds an inverted question mark, emerging through rents, separations, and fissures.
The image-title captures the spirit and scope of this work, which aims to invite people to move beyond a mere viewing of a work and enter a sensorial realm to engage with facets of the chosen theme –other selves.
and so, I never know just who I am,
nor how many I am, nor who we will be.
‘We are many’
Identity, as Neruda playfully suggests, comprises of complex layers that often intersect - layers of experiences, desires, fears, values, affiliations… the list is almost endless, with each aspect informing and acting upon our ‘sense of self’. Shifting contexts further influence our identity, melding the roles we fulfill, the commitments we make, and the games we play.
The work is an invitation to experience our many selves – and in doing so, to recognise that the ‘others’ are in us too.
The work hopes to address the deep divisions and mistrust that marks our society by becoming a space where people can gather and air their opinions, however strong or divergent they may be. To do so, we are creating a Performance+Art installation that will become a sensorial site to reflect, question, and talk about the tensions, fractures and dislocations caused by current discourses surrounding identities within the country and around – be it about religion, caste, geography, gender…
The primary material for the work will be the videos, photographs, audio recordings, notes, and sketches gathered during UR/Unreserved; a travelling arts project that covered over 10,000 Kilometres in 2017, examining questions around identity. Additional material like poetry, news reports and personal narratives will be used to create an engagement with projections, sound scapes, and performative happenings.
The engagement will happen within an open cuboid (24ft x 24ft x 12ft) containing multiple cloth screens of varying textures and densities, which will be operated by performers to create an experience of multiple perspectives.
Each engagement will last two hours, and will flow through 3 sections:
1. The arrival – where the visitor-audience walks through and explores the installation.
2. The journey – an interactive performance by five performers from Dhemaji (Assam), Thrissur (Kerala), Mumbai and Bangalore.
3. The departure – facilitated conversations around the themes invoked, and perceptions evoked. Towards this, we have begun a series of consultations with conflict management experts and counsellors.
We will be trying out 'open rehearsals' wherein we will invite people to observe, comment and question the work as it gets created. We intend to run with the finished work for at least for 2 years with a special focus on places going through polarisations of diverse types and degrees.
• Colleges and universities • Community halls • Museums/Gallery spaces • Art Festivals
We will also be releasing a publication containing the articles, sketches, and testimonies that emerged during the course of the project.
We have raised Rs.1,40,000 that will cover travel, stay, food, rehearsals and modest retainers for the people working. We now are seeking support to cover the production costs (detailed below)
1. Installation structure
24ft x 24ft x 12 ft Truss.
Mild steel pipes. Fabrication and welding. Powder coating. 125000
2. Cloth Screens
11 screens. Cables and rings. 35000
3. Sound and Light
Column speakers. Lamp shades. Lamps.
Connectors and cables. Dimmers. 45000
projectors, connectors and cables. 45000
Rupees Two Lakh Fifty Thousand.
Note: The project is currently in rehearsal, and will start sharing and touring with the work in the first week of July 2019. At the end of the project we will donate all the equipment, in working condition, to a deserving, registered non-profit institution, working with children and young adults.
Do get in touch with us if you have any queries.
Anish Victor is a theatre maker and facilitator based in Bangalore, with a field experience of over 25 years. He is the creative lead for this project.
Anshul Juneja is a Textile & Apparel Designer, Textile Artist. She has designed for International Apparel Brands, developed alternative applications in technical textiles and has taught at NID and NIFT.
Aruna Manjunath is a Bangalore based visual artist and jewellery designer currently working in the field of theatre in various capacities.
Bharath Kumar is a pianist and music producer. He is a member of the Lucky Ali Band and Galeej Gurus and has performed on international stages.
Varun Kurtkoti is a film maker and singer. An alumnus of Srishti School of Art Design and Technology. He has worked on several film related projects across the country.
Veeresh.M.P.M is a is a visual artist and theatre practitioner who has worked extensively across smaller cities in Karnataka, and with diverse communities.
Maraa, a Media and Arts collective in Bangalore and Delhi.
The project is also supported by Macbeth Drama, a performance group in Dhemaji (Assam); and Innerspace Little Theatre, a performance collective in Irinjalakuda (Kerala).