On the Move | January 2016

Since 2010, ArtOxygen (ArtO2) has been working in the urban space, exploring the nature of the unexpected encounter between the work of art and the public. What happens when the object intrudes into the urban domain? How does the public affect or enrich the artistic and curatorial process? And most importantly, what becomes of the artist, whose role is now more layered and dynamic, as s/he negotiates relations with the space and those around it? We have been interested in creating an opening between the controlled inside of the artist studio and the outside that is in perpetual flux. By intruding in people’s everyday routine and by contaminating the making of the object, can this renew artistic production and create points for resilience?

In this New Year, ArtO2 continues its investigation of the porous relations between artistic practice and the urban fabric, through a series of projects in Mumbai and Delhi. From 16th to 30th January 2016, Amelia Beavis-Harrison (U.K.), Eirik Magnus Slyngstad (Norway), Tushar Joag and Raktim Parashar (India), will create points of intersection as they examine the notion of Touch, man’s most intimate and primal instinct. They will connect with people at various sites, exploring connections through gestures that trigger memories, emotions and relations.

Organized in collaboration with the Floodlight Foundation for the second edition of its festival Publica, the project promotes public art practice by encouraging artists and practitioners to work in spaces where they are constantly confronted by and able to engage with various audiences.

About PUBLICA – PUBLICA is the flagship initiative of the Floodlight Foundation, which aims to place large public art installations in high footfall areas around our cities. The aim is to bring wider audiences to engage with art outside of the usual constraints of galleries and museums. With each PUBLICA iteration, Floodlight hopes to broaden audiences in diversity and numbers as well as encourage patronage across the arts. Providing a platform for emerging artists, impacting cross-cultural exchange and enabling education through the arts are the three cornerstones of the PUBLICA programming.
Floodlight was set up to promote the patronage and appreciation of the visual arts through public art projects and educational programming whilst acting as a platform for young and emerging artists. It also aims to build awareness of art among collectors and broaden the base of art appreciation.

**artists interventions will be held at the CST Terminus on 16 January, 11am-4pm followed by an artist talk at StudioX, Fort on 19 January, 6.30-7.30pm (Mumbai); opening exhibition of PUBLICA at the Bikaner House on 30 January, 8pm (Delhi)

Amelia Beavis-HarrisonHistory will Not Forget You
Amelia’s performance takes as its starting point the year 1982 which signals a particular time in Mumbai’s history – the greatest workers’ strikes the city witnessed and later, the closure of its textile mills. It looks at the destructuring of the very nature of industrial labour that became largely unorganized. She will begin her piece by sewing a costume together with a local tailor. Incorporating architectural references of former mills, the garment will be worn by Amelia and other performers and presented at the Phoenix Mill, where they will engage in domestic duties like sweeping, cleaning, making space for a new history and new possibilities. The work explores the possibility for exchange in authorship explored through relations with local fabricators and performers.

Tushar Joag | Peeling the Onion in the Nizamuddin Basti
(in collaboration with Sair e Nizamuddin & Noor with the support of the Aga Khan Development Network under the Nizumuddin Urban Renewal Initiative)

A map is a flat surface delineating geographic boundaries. It deconstructs topographic areas demarcating and differentiating land from sea, cities from countries. For individuals, a map gives one a sense of direction. But it is also subjective – people form their own maps based on memory, special moments over one’s life, the routine from work to home. In a small Basti in Nizamuddin run by the Aga Khan Foundation and as part of a participatory action piece, Tushar will work with various communities living and employed in the restoration of heritage monuments of the area. He will create a cartographic outline of the site and invite people to create their own maps. The terrain begins to superimpose, becoming less individual, more collective and forming into an ethnographic archive of the people at the site. The finished map will then be converted into an intricate piece woven by women engaged in local craft works.

Eirik Magnus Slyngstad | Wholesome and mindful
Eirik will investigate the psychological tensions at play in public spaces, explored through choreographed motions. Through subtle disturbances in the consciousness of his audience, his performance distorts perception as everyday activities at the station are strangely amplified but also lost by the giddiness of the station. Eirik’s abstract piece becomes a poetic entry into the polemics of space.

Raktim Parashar | Thinking Inside the Box
A sculptural installation with 16 gift boxes, coded in red and blue. Inside each lies a label and found article inviting viewers to peep inside and discover the most absurd objects concealed inside the boxes.  By triggering one’s level of surprise, the work stimulates an element of creativity and thinking, often compartmentalized due to confines defined by society or daily pressure and routine.