RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP 2013 | SRAJANA KAIKINI
Srajana Kainini was selected for the FICA Research Fellowship for her research proposal titled ‘Silhouettes of dhvani’ by an expert jury of curators and professionals that included Dr. Irit Rogoff (Goldsmiths), Tessa Jackson and Grant Watson (Iniva), Aaron Cezar (Delfina), and Vidya Shivadas (FICA). Kainini was selected after two rounds of short listing and a final e-interview with the jury members.
The Research Fellowship 2013 is presented by FICA in collaboration with its three, London-based, partners - the Department of Visual Cultures and the PhD. Program in Curatorial/Knowledge, Goldsmiths, University of London, Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) and Delfina Foundation, London.
It presents the FICA fellow with an opportunity of a fully funded 10-12 week research residency in London, with personal mentoring from the faculty members of Goldsmiths and Iniva, access to Goldsmiths’ post-graduate courses and the Curatorial/Knowledge seminars, and an opportunity to develop their research in discussion with the Iniva Curatorial team. Further, Delfina Foundation provides a great opportunity for the fellow to work alongside a Turkish curator/researcher who is part of the Delfina-SAHA Fellowship programme. All three collaborators will additionally make opportunities for the fellow to meet research scholars, artists and a network of professionals in the field of contemporary art in London.
The research emerges from an intersectional reading between the Indian aesthetic philosophy of Dhvani (the theory of Suggestion) and the status of the object in Indian contemporary art practice. The dhvani theorists invested heavily on the semantic function of the word claimed exclusive to poetry. Through this research, Kaikini proposes to extend dhvani beyond the linguistic into the field of contemporary art practice. The research studies Indian literary theories of suggestion, vis-à-vis literary theories of Symbolism and Concrete poetry. It will examine contemporary art vocabulary that invests in materiality and the ‘literal’ image through works of artists Shilpa Gupta, L.N Tallur and Sudarshan Shetty. The ‘Brain’ at Documenta 13 curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev is evidence to this turn towards objects, stories and histories. What does it imply politically to invest meaning in the reified material? This phenomenon signposts a curious re-cognition of the dhvani aesthetic in contemporary art , wherein, the collapse in the possibility of suggestive meanings in the literal art work leads to a resonance of a different kind, a resonance of a multiple levels of reception, due to the absence of any overt intent.
Srajana Kaikini received her Bachelor in Architecture from R.V.College of Arcitechture, Bangalore, and her thesis on Kalaghoda Art District, Mumbai: An urban script received the Best Thesis Award from the Council of Architecture, India, and an award from Domus Academy, Milan, Italy. She went on to completing her Masters from School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, New Delhi (2012). During this period she participated in curatorial projects such as Fragility, curated by Dr. Rakhee Balaram at Art Alive Gallery, and Adventures of a Nacroleptic Flaneur with Raqs Media Collective. Kaikini spent the last year as a Curatorial Fellow at de Appel Curatorial programme 2012/13. The programme culminated in her co-curating the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers, which explored questions of value attached to cultural leftovers and the status of non-contemporary art language; it invited 19 contemporary artists to engage and dialogue with a set of 32 academic style paintings from Dutch interbellum time from the collection of the VanAbbemuseum, Eindhoven. Kaikini is also a trained classical dancer of Odissi, and her passion for writing extends beyond academia into prose, poetry, cinema and travelogue, and she is active on her blog www.srajanak.blogspot.in