In Context -

Artist: KHOJ
Location: New Delhi, India
Year: 2010
Researcher: Eve Lemesle

The program attempts to interrogate multiple ecologies in the city of Delhi. The first 'In Context:' residency commenced at the beginning of March 2010. The artists’ (from India, Germany, Japan and the USA) projects focus on interventions in the public sphere. The curatorial intent underlying the residency stresses on the dialogic aspect of the artists thematic and intervention.

Projects ranged from mapping weather patterns and the effects of climate change on local communities; an interactive video sculpture; examining the signification of trees in the context of road zones; designing a tableaux that will interact with people around questions around conservation; building a natural biological water purification system; to one that traces the paths of people and their constitutive objects from Chandni Chowk to Gurgaon.

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Over the years, since its inception, the residency program has had various editions such as The Negotiating Routes edition (2011), which invited artists, professionals to work on site-specific projects with an inter-disciplinary approach that combined research and art creating by artists and local communities, addressing the visible and invisible transformations currently taking place in their immediate environments.

The food edition (2012 and 2013) of 'In Context: aimed to re-examine the significance and relevance of food in our current social and cultural, collective and individual milieu, celebrate its intrinsic connection with our bodies and our selves, and explore it as a primary ritual that fosters engagement, interaction and collaboration. Alongside a critical examination of issues surrounding the politics of 'food', the residency offered an opportunity to engage stimulating conversations around the discourse of food through employing food as artistic medium incorporating it in performance, art installations or in interactive events.

Projects: Sylvia Winkler & Stephan Koeperl- PPR (passenger propelled rickshaw)

Through their experience of using the bicycle as a daily means of transport in Germany, They were convinced that self powered vehicles are going to play a major role for short-distance transport in the sustainable cities of the future. During "In Context: Public.Art.Ecology" they worked with the use of cycle rickshaws in Delhi, which is a common mode of public transport. A prototype of a PPR (passenger propelled rickshaw) was constructed. In this vehicle the hierarchy of passenger/puller is transformed into a temporary collaborative unit where physical power and logistical knowledge are shared to bring things forward. The artists engaged the passers-by in the different neighborhoods of Delhi by riding the PPR to fuel the dream of a post-oil society.

The program attempts to interrogate multiple ecologies in the city of Delhi. It allows and encourages projects that address important ecological issues relating to the city of Delhi. In an ever-evolving landscape of a city marked by rapid urbanisation, increase in population and pollution, decrese in the degree of health related aspects, the project gathers artists and researchers working in various mediums and subjects to respond to and create experiments within the city as solutions to issues. This creates direct impact within the cultural landscape.

The project started in 2010 by funding support and programming support from Khoj, which is a non-profit arts organisation. Khoj has been a space that supports experimental and alternative arts practices. Started with a focus on building networks, developing alternative pedagogies and learning through collaboration and exchange, the residency programme has encouraged imaginative projects and created unconventional synapses between art and disciplines such as science, architecture, food and fashion. The vital concerns such as ecology, sustainability and community participation have been addressed through this project consistently.

All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.

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