The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art is delighted to announce that the FICA Public Art Grant 2018 is being granted to two promising projects: Cecilia’ed by Indu Antony and Project Chaari by Manishikha Baul.

The jury for the Public Art Grant 2018 consisted of Sameera Jain, filmmaker, editor and educator, Rangoato Hlasane, Johannesburg-based cultural worker, DJ, educator, Jeebesh Bagchi, artist, curator and member of Raqs Media Collective, and Vidya Shivadas, Director, FICA.  The jury made the decision to divide the grant amount and partially support two promising proposals which are both engaging with performance in the public domain. Both projects are open-ended and experimental in the way they mobilise neighbourhoods and public spaces through dancing bodies or by staging mock events and will present opportunities to analyse and redefine notions of urban spaces.

Indu Antony’s project Cecilia’ed looks at disrupting normative notions of gender in public spaces by working with neighbourhood spaces that are marked ‘unsafe’ for women, using the politics of herd mentality and celebrity culture. Taking Bangalore as the locus of the project, she has identified obsolete spaces like salons and bars, gendered spaces specifically, and intends to reopen them through a ceremonial show using Cecilia, a local figure of emancipation and bravura. The project shall generate and make use of processes like old lithograph posters, sonic cartographs and photo-albums of the events in an attempt to preserve an analogue visual language and map the gendered predicaments and histories of the pockets being re-opened.

For updates on her project, visit https://www.ceciliaed.com

Manishikha Baul’s Project Chaari intends to use the performative body and the classical dance form of Odissi to experiment with public spaces in the form of a performance-documentary.  Odissi has imbibed its performative language from the various chaaris (walk or gait) of humans and animals and the artist intends to perform them amidst the routine scape of a street and gauge public reactions to the intrusion. She is also looking to expand the repertoire of chaaris to account for urban everyday lives and daily movements that bring into dialogue questions of gaze, the infrastructure of the urban space, the various rituals that unconsciously shape the private and public body, as well as the many intangible forces that shape these interactions. 
We wish the recipients our best in carrying these projects forward!  

The Publc Art Grant 2018 is supported by ‘The Makers’.

About the Recipients 

Indu Antony hails from Bangalore and has participated in several group exhibitions including the Serendipity Arts Festival, 2018; Kochi-Muziris Biennale (Collateral), 2018-19; Foto Fest Biennale, Houston, 2018; Queer Asia Photo Exhibition, London, 2017 and Photo Kathmandu, Nepal, 2015. She has participated in various artists’ residencies including the Kashi Art Residency with Kochi Biennale in Fort Kochi in 2017 and the Photo Kathmandu Photo-Jazz Residency, Nepal in 2015. Her work primarily revolves around the notion of spaces and their intangible character in relation to the gendered body as a site of representation. In 2011, Indu was the recipient of the Toto Award for Photography.
 
Manishikha Baul has been an Odissi dancer for the most part of her life. She engages with different aspects of performance and performance building, arts management, organizing socio-political movements and teaching young adults. She is currently enrolled at the London School of Performing Arts in Berlin studying Devised Theatre and Performing Arts. Manishikha has been a programme co-ordinator for the project ‘Dance Union’ under Gati Dance Forum before jumping onboard with Mallika Taneja to manage Lost and Found Trust between 201in the past. She has been instrumental in curating and managing a private alternate performance space in Delhi along with making Odissi accessible to everyone through performances in public spaces. She is also visiting faculty at Ashoka University.  She has been actively part of the NotInMyName campaign, Artists-against-Hate charter and most recently driving conversations within the performance arts sector in Delhi around the #MeToo movement.  

Image Courtesy: Indu Antony, Cecilia, 2018 (top) and Manishikha Baul, 'Where does the chaari lie?', Nehru Place Arcade | Photo Credit: Aditya Kapoor (bottom)