QUEEN’S ROAD: India Foundation for the Arts is calling for applications for Project 560, which aims to re-imagine ‘found’ spaces in the city through art.
The selected artists or collectives will have to take art — it could be in any form — to spaces that aren’t originally designated for its display.
“Performance artists are the first to come forward, but we also want magicians, writers and poets, visual artists and all the others to send in proposals as well,” said Arundhati Ghosh, executive director.
With 560 being the first three digits of Bengaluru’s postal code, last year, the project was open only to artists living in the city.
“But we had interested people who had lived in Bengaluru for 10 years and shared a very deep connection with Malleswaram,” she said.
So this year, it has been opened up to the entire artist community in India, so long as they work with alternative spaces in Bengaluru, the city IFA was ‘born into’. “We’ve been here for 20 years now,” Arundhati said.
Artists can send in the rough drafts of their proposals, which a team at IFA will help develop if needed, by May 15, and the final a month later.
The 10 selected artists will be announced in August, and will receive a grant of Rs 1.5 lakh each. From September, they will work on their projects for three months, which will culminate in a three-day festival in December.
“At the festival last year, we had over 127 performances and other work to show in pools to markets, parks to flyovers,” says Arundhati. “The artists worked on a lot of things in the three months.”
IFA is also calling for applications for artistic walks. “Last year, we had senior citizens from the neighbourhood tell us stories about an artist or a writer who used to live there,” recalls Arundhati. And this gave her and the rest of the team the idea of curated walks.
“Not just artists, anyone can apply for it, but it has to be about a place with a story, a history,” she says. A total of 16 will be picked, and given an honourarium of Rs 10,000.
IFA invites artists to reimagine the city
Is IFA looking at taking the project to other cities as well? Not for a few years at least. "This is our commitment to the city," Arundhati explained.
"Funds don't come easy. You can't do it in a city where you're not there."
The city-based trust believes in sustaining a healthy exchange with the art community, so they have Mathukathes, talks or informal interactions with artists, either from or passing through the city, at their office a few times a month.
"Since we give out grants, there's an inherent power equation. Often, without realising it, such organisations become very snooty," allowed Arundhati. "We want to remain very accessible, so we throw open our office to others."
So this space, in RMV Stage II, has bands and troupes playing, and visual and performance artists talking about their work to an audience comprising people of ages 10 to 60.
"It's a small space. We just remove the chairs and put up some fairy lights and invite people in. When there are 10, the staff sits in too," she said. But if there's a full house, they have to sit it out.
Those interested can send the rough drafts of their proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before Friday