Serendipity Arts Festival presents Subodh Gupta-My Colour on Your Plate
Serendipity Arts Festival, India’s first multidisciplinary arts event, will be held Goa from the 15-22 December, with over 90 dynamic projects showcasing the visual, performing and culinary arts. Ten venues across Panaji will transform the Goa into a vibrant cultural space with multiple exhibitions, performances and experiential arts experiences.
This year the event boasts an eminent curatorial panel, who have been selected for their disciplinary expertise furthering the Festival’s aim of promoting new creative strategies, artistic interventions, and cultural partnerships which respond to and address the social, cultural and environmental milieu of South Asia. The highly anticipated Visual Arts discipline at the Festival will be curated by Ranjit Hoskote and artist Subodh Gupta, whose project also marks his curatorial debut, the project My Colour On Your Plate, will engage 11 artists, from around the world, each in a unique juncture of their practice. A key feature of this exhibition is reevaluating the role of the artist and the curator — exploring how art may be perceived differently when the boundaries between arts professions and disciplines are dissolved.
Curated by Subodh Gupta
Curatorial Advisor Latika Gupta
Daphné Le Sergent
Harun Farocki and Antje Ehmann
Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser)
Mayank Austen Soofi
The project furthers one of the Serendipity Arts Festival’s core objectives of developing contemporary arts practice, creating a contemporary dialogue on how an artist’s approach and their curatorial vision differs from that of a curator, academic or historian. Redefining an artist as a curator, questions and decentralises notions and models of “high art”, and challenges the perceived impenetrability of the art world. Whilst curators and art historians occupy a either a market driven or contemporary space, artists remain distinct and outside the commercial art world, and work within a community of creative practitioners whose work resonates with their individual vision and artistic practice.
Artists included in the project include, Anita Dube, curator of the 2018 Kochi Biennale, Daphné Le Sergent, Hemali Bhuta, Mayank Austen Soofi, Paul McCarthy, Phylida Barlow, and Sophie Calle, amongst others. There will also be two site-specific performances by Zuleikha Chaudhuri and Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin and David Soin Tappeser).
Subodh Gupta grew up in Bihar, one of India’s least economically developed states, and received his BFA from the College of Arts and Crafts in Patna. One of the country’s most successful artists, Gupta’s work questions the ambivalence of a society caught between tradition and globalisation, challenging booming wealth and impoverishment, rigid religious and social structures, caste politics and ancient belief systems. Gupta works with a variety of media, including painting, photography, and video. Often identifying and representing Indian icons that possess innate dichotomies and semiotic narratives, such as a colonial-style ambassador’s car, sacred cow dung, or the stainless steel utensils typical of a South Asian kitchen.
Speaking about the project and the Festival’s Visual Arts Discipline Subodh Gupta said: "It's been a pleasure and honor to work with the Serendipity team. It is exciting to see the kind of support and platform being provided for contemporary art in India. My aim when putting together this exhibition was to provide a snapshot of the range of conversations happening in contemporary art about pertinent social and political issues around the world; essentially, outlining the various roles of an artist in public discourse. People will see a wide range of Contemporary art from India and the world."
My Colour on Your Plate seeks to unravel three fundamental concepts: labour, material and process - exploring how each artist and their work, considers and uses these elements. Underlining how a work of art may transform our gaze, alter perceptions and change the way in which we experience and contextualise our physical world.
Art in the exhibition’s context becomes a catalyst in forming and changing the viewers understanding and creating experience. Colour and our identifications with colour are used as semiotic tools, exposing a sensorium of possibilities, and also highlighting our political and collective understanding of identity and difference, beyond the individual and the intimate.
The works on display will explore “the map” and the concept of “mapping”, moving these beyond their
practical history and function as the representation of territory and the boundaries of nations. The mapping process becomes metaphorical, charting our internal position and situation, as a society and as
individuals, making and remaking our identities. Each artist selected for this project responds to the environment and experience of the viewer, exploring our relationship to the familiar and the unfamiliar, the Self and the Other, the experienced and perceived, our various differences and similarities and what we hold in common, as well as what we struggle to communicate across limits and distances.
Ms. Smriti Rajgarhia, Director, Serendipity Arts Festival said, "A core objective of the Festival is to create a balance between artistic rigour and accessibility via innovative its programming, this project addresses some of the key contemporary questions about arts practice and display. The exhibition offers audiences new ways of looking at art and allows a highly complex project to become much more interesting to the public, our ambition as a festival is about offering people new ways to interact with art, artist-curated shows as opposed to curator-curated shows have the ability to be subjective and free from institutional constraints or rigid art-historical categories which immediately make them more inclusive and accessible."
The Serendipity Arts Festival is committed to creating tangible change across the country’s cultural spectrum by engaging the public and increasing awareness of how art can impact society, whilst generating interest in public art projects across India. In its previous two editions, the event attracted more than 400,000 visitors, and activated 1300 artists creating significant impact and contributing to the cultural regeneration of Panaji. This year’s programming will include 1500 artists and continues to honour the culture and the arts of the Festival’s host city, with special events to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Panaji redefining heritage sites and architectural icons through creative and community focused projects.