PUBLIC ART GRANT 2013 | INDRANI BARUAH
The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art is pleased to announce that the Public Art Grant 2013 recipient is Indrani Baruah for her project titled Cultural Re-imaginations Stage III: New Collective Cultural Journeys and Initiatives on the River Brahmaputra in Uzan Bazaar Ghat, Guwahati.
The members of the jury were artists Navjot Altaf, Kausik Mukhopadhyay and filmmaker Chandita Mukherjee.
The jury felt that the proposal reflected Baruah’s sustained interest in working with the site and the communities invested in it, with a clear role for herself as an artist and mediator. The project's capacity to bring together different groups of people, with their distinct experiences and knowledge systems, was appreciated. The subsequent exploration of the possibilities of their collaboration with each other also seemed to have good potential.
Cultural Re-imaginations Stage-III
The project is the third in a series of public art interventions on the River Brahmaputra by Baruah. Conceived as a floating bamboo raft structure and a series of collective cultural journeys with a team of local artists, artisans, writers, performers, teachers and environmentalist, the project in the long run aims to trigger a network of ideas and positive transformations, new collaborations, and create circumstances for further participatory public art practice. In Cultural Re-imaginations Stage-III, the raft in its anchored state will set out to become a presentation space and a platform for hybrid projects focusing on the interface of art, environment, culture and vernacular crafts. This public art intervention will evolve in response to creative engagement by the community and create a sense of 'place'. As a cultural intervention the project is intentionally ephemeral and is intended to evoke universal, temporary, mobile, vernacular habitats with minimal environmental impacts as well as cultural forms inherent to this region. The raft will be symbolically re-imagined as an ‘itinerant bard’ of the river - a jajabor evoking the ‘wanderer’ in each one of us. It will personify the storyteller of important narratives of the two banks of the river Brahmaputra, of the maritime history of this region, the everyday lives of the people and their transforming relationship with the river.
Indrani Baruah is an artist, architect and cultural researcher, splitting her time between Guwahati, Delhi and Berkeley. She completed her formal training in architecture from School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and later from School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon. She further went on to doing the U.C.Berkeley Programs in Art (Drawing and Painting), ASUC Art Studios, and Painting and Art History from Merritt College, Oakland, California. Her recent participation in exhibitions include Green, Berkeley Arts Center, Berkeley, California (2010), ARTifact, Gensler, San Francisco, California (2010) and Venice Biennale 2012, 13th Annual International Architectural Exhibition: Common Ground. Baruah received the Extending Arts Practice Grant from India Foundation for the Arts in 2012. She will also be participating in the upcoming INSERT 2014 exhibition curated by Raqs Media Collective titled New Models on Common Ground: Re-imagining the Question of Cultural Infrastructure.