Sunday, May 17, 2009

Who Cares about Processes...?

We don't have art movements any more. We have market movements. -- Walter Robinson

As emerging art practitioners working in a time when the words 'Boom and Crash' have become inescapably linked with art culture, and a creative impulse is often self-consciously fashioned as a consumable luxury product - there are several challenges for those who wish to take on different paths and voice other concerns - since, the questions Who and How much most often take precedence over What and Why...

Thought maps, artistic processes and basically the steps that lead to the making of an art-work are neither effectively looked into nor valued. Hence, this student residency becomes a useful experiment for each of us to examine the creation process and provide the artists in residence an opportunity to instill a sense of collective participation in their individual practice.

While the commercial face of art shouldn't be critiqued through a unidimensional outlook, as it has certain benefits and delineated purposes in our culturescape, there seems to be a gap between market-driven art and inclusive art practices grounded in social relevance. This could perhaps be best bridged through critical engagement with the changing dynamics of the contemporary arts. Organizations like KHOJ thus, have a crucial role to play at this juncture - stimulating collective action towards developing a more open creative field that allows for problematization and subversion of mainstream narratives. In addition, moving beyond a codified lexicon of 'art activism' to accommodate individual investigation, alternative experimentation and diverse community based practices.

Personally, PEERS is a chance to thoroughly observe the creative process as a lived collaborative journey. During our time together as we become acquainted with one another's visual language and the distillation of ideas occurs through shared conversations, it is hoped that projects will be conceptualized as ongoing processes informed by our socio-cultural environments. For fresh graduates and continuing students from leading art schools - this interaction process enables a stepping away from institutional frameworks where pressure to produce an acceptable 'end-product' can be grueling as didactic Juries often congregate to test the worth of a creative expression.

The residency provides us an opportunity to freely introspect and experiment with new visual vocabularies - as we are no longer bound to quote from established strands of academic debates but rather encouraged to follow fresh thought trails, carry out intense interactions with contemporaries and in turn, re-align the place of the self with a widening worldview.

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