Territory - An Art Event 1998
An exhibition of outdoor and indoor installations on the outskirts of Bangalore
  Participating Artists : Raghavendra Rao, Ramesh Kalkur, Azis T.M., Surekha, M.C. Ramesh, Tripura Kashyap, and C.F. John

The works were executed in an open land of around two acres and in an old industrial building, 40 ft. (w) x 100 ft. (l) x 25 ft. (h). Twenty-four hours prior to the opening of the show there was a heavy storm and rain, which partially damaged the details and structures of the outdoor installations. Keeping the theme in mind, we made an attempt to do away with defining lines and ambience. The materials chosen were the day-to-day materials conventionally used for defining boundaries, For example, corrugated metal sheets, gunny cloths, bamboo, chicken wire mesh, and bricks. The rawness of the materials was retained in the works. (Please refer to "territory" handout)

Hoary premise

Rolls of barbed wire place atop high stone walls, glass shards embedded in concrete fences, signs reading 'Trespassers will be prosecuted', and 'Beware of the Dog', the infamous line of control in Jammu and Kashmir, multicoloured maps in school atlas' - who is not familiar with these attempts at definding and disturbing earth space? Why only human beings, even animals refuse to be left behind when it comes to establishing territorial rights!
Exercising ownership of land, either individually or as a group (namely as a village, city, country etc) by means of either religious, racial, or political belief has been ingrained in the human psyche from times immemorial.

"Territory" the event held at analysing this hoary premise. Each of the participating artists and performer, attempt to create or carve out a space that is uniquely theirs. What makes this 'event' (one cannot term it an 'art exhibition' in the usual manner) even more interesting, is that all the artists have worked with actual, living space rather than with the limiting, two dimensional medium of painting. By moving to the outskirts of the city, indeed by moving out of the clinical space of the art gallery, these artists have overcome their first hurdle - they have unrestricted and interesting space to play with at Bit-Tul on Kanakapura Road"… - Veena Kotian - Thimmaiah, Deccan Herald.

Territory - the daunting struggle

""…Tackling the territorial tangle, rediscovering the colossal tussle for identities, the art of eight will speak for itself. In works of territorial magnitudes. In a huge plot, smelling of the human sweat - an industrial precise - the eight artists have arranged a rendezvous with the human spirit…"
- Rasheed Kappan - The Hindu

A room with many views
"Like the identification of an ambiguous relation between a home and its surroundings. These works abort any attempt at merely seeing. They beck on physical perception, they invite participation. Hence the audience and the works play a mutual hide-and-seek. In a way, the purpose of creating a new territory is deceptively served. The audience enters an exotic province of images while carrying visions of conventional art works in mind…"
- H.A. Anilkumar - The Sunday Times of India

"A Time complete as an Ocean a wound confused as a new being encompass the stubborn root of my soul biting the centre of my security". Our experience of territory and community are interwoven -- both shelter us and bind us in intimacy. At the same time we have stories of exiles and of exodus to dream territories. The meaning of territory has undergone changes from time to time. Generations have given meaning to territory and territory has given meaning to generations. Territory need not necessarily be an anthropocentric notion. Geography has its own territories, which make natural habitats even in the absence of humans. The body is born in the territorial waters of womb. The womb is the first territory. In the waters of womb the seed grows into an identity, with its won aura and energy, shaping our notions of taste, beauty, and cosmology. The relationship between the person of concealing and unveiling. Layer by layer it draws each other into intrinsically bonded relationships. I grew up learning about earth, ('Kumb') seeds human labour etc, though myths, which revered Eros and Life as the highest of all. I asked a farmer (with whom I used to go for fishing, who taught me about water, fish moon and so on), 'what is the greatest sin?' He answered: 'Stealing of food and water.' If he is alive today he would have corrected it as ''seed and water''. Loss of seed and water results in desolation of territory. Today we experience globalisation of markets and homogenisation of culture son one side and increasing ethnic and communal divide on the other. The search for national identities is taking place simultaneously with the displacement of basic communities. Contradicting spectrums such as these play a vital role in the making of contemporary mindset.

Click your pointer on any sample images to view them in bigger size.

  Links for some of the Installation Events

Cultural spiral in plastic, 1993

Silence of Furies and Sorrows - Pages of a burning city, 1995

Quest for Celebration and Question on Waste, 1996

Territory - an art event, 1998

Mangroves, 1999

Walls of Memories 2003

Quilted 2003

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