The shrinking spaces of the city has everyone worried. From those who live in handkerchief-sized apartments to those who pay exorbitant prizes to exhibit their art, no one has been spared from the clutches of commercialisation.
In times when the city is exploring its new-found art consciousness, comes Found Spaces Initiative by India Foundation for the Arts for artists to re-imagine Bangalore through performances.
The initiative called Project 560 is an artistic quest to recode and re-imagine Bangalore through performances culminating in a six-day festival. The name Project 560 is derived from the first three digits of the postal code for our city.
The organisation is inviting applications from musicians, dancers, theatre practitioners, puppeteers, storytellers, poets, writers or visual artists who wish to create performances in found spaces within Bangalore. “The project seeks to encourage artistes to creatively engage with non-proscenium found spaces, reimagine them and bring them alive through performance,” says Sumana Chandrashekar from the organising team, adding, “We want artistes to bring out the story of a space through their performances. Artistes can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
The initiative addresses two very important issues relevant to Bangaloreans. “Many a times performing artistes find it difficult to explore spaces to perform at. With the city changing, there are not many places left for them to perform. Then again these places are sometimes not available and are mostly expensive. Not all artistes can access these spaces. The other issue is that the city is slowly losing its identity. It is being transformed every minute and history is being erased. This project addresses both these issues together,” she says. Through this initiative artistes will start looking at different spaces in a new light. “Why should a performing artiste depend only on Chowdiah? The spaces are right here. Make use of them,” says Sumana.
The selection will depend on various factors like what space the participants have chosen and in what manner they want to engage with it. “For example the participant can be inspired by the history of the place or by the little stories attached to it. Another important point to keep in mind while making the proposal is that the space is not the backdrop, it should take the centre stage in the performance,” she explains.
Once all the proposals are in, a separate panel will be set up to pick up the most creative ones. Six projects will be selected for support and each will be given `2.5 lakh, including production costs. The selected groups/individuals will have three months, from March to May 2014, to develop their performance ideas. These ideas will be shared through performances and presentations during the week-long ‘Project 560’ festival to be held in June. The deadline for submission is January 31.
“Project 560 will excite artistes in Bangalore and enable them to engage with the city’s stories and spaces, as well as for the public, who at the week-long festival, will explore and experience the city in unusual ways,” comments Arundhati Ghosh, executive director, India Foundation for the Arts.