A Report about the activities of the students of Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Srinagar  

Exchange Programme organized by FICA and Students Biennale Foundation as part of the Students Biennale 2014

Following the Students' Biennale 2014 there was a Students Exchange programme launched with the students of Institute of Music and Fine Arts, Srinagar and five other arts institutions across the country, organised by FICA and the Kochi Biennale Foundation. This effort was possible with the support of Pro Helvetia - Swiss Arts Council and Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan. This was an experiment to see the possibilities of students’ exchanges across art institutions, and explore both formal and informal models of art pedagogy.

Itinerary and Collaborations

The students were invited to be part of:
1. Kolkata International Performance Arts Festival, in collaboration with Performer’s International. The students participated in the festival alongside performers from all over India. The group presented their works at The Theatre for Experiments in New Technologies.
2. They then travelled to Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharti University, Santiniketan, to be part of a workshop conducted by Sanchayan Ghosh, artist and Professor at the school. A workshop using theatre exercises was undertaken and discussions on the history of Santiniketan were held. Sanchayan encouraged the students to think about materiality of sound and history of the site with regard to their works.
3. At Shiv Nadar University in Noida, the students participated in a workshop with Professor Gitanjali Kolanad, where they explored incorporating dance and theatre movements into their works. They attended a lecture on the history of performance and installation art by John Xaviers. The students were encouraged to incorporate what they had learned and explore new techniques in metalwork, welding, and paint to take their performances to a new level. Throughout their time at SNU, the students from Srinagar also held discussions and shared ideas with Shiv Nadar Masters students as well as Professors Vasuda Thozur and Tushar Joag. Their time at SNU culminated in a performance piece in which they used clay, paint, and their fabricated metal pieces to explore the relationships between their bodies and textuality.
4. The students participated in a presentation and discussion with Mirjam Spoolder, a Swiss performance artist, at the FICA Reading Room. Mirjam discussed her relationship to performance art and photography through the incorporation of fashion into her work, and the students were able to discuss the differences and interconnections between their own experiences with materials in the context of their performance art.
5. A workshop with Professor Maya Krishna Rao of the Department of Art Design and Peforming Arts, Shiv Nadar University, which was held at NIV Art Centre where the group stayed for a few days. The workshop consisted of exercises that ranged from activities in interactive sculpture and group movement, exploring tension dynamics within a group atmosphere, and identifying group rhythms.
6. A Presentation and performance event at NIV Art Centre: Performance emerged as an area of interest for the group and they were able to engage with the multiple ways in which this discipline is being grappled with in different institutions. FICA is grateful to the generosity of all the professors and organisers at various institutions for opening up their spaces and hearts to the students and for finding ways to introduce them to different ideas, materials, and concepts. They generated an environment of open-ness and collaborative spirit which the students were able to explore to the fullest.

Download Full Report HERE