River Yamuna to become the muse for a unique public art proj

River Yamuna to become the muse for a unique public art proj

Postby Surabhi Trivedi » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:38 am

New Delhi: As part of “Germany and India 2011-2012: Infinite Opportunities”, the City of Hamburg along with Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi, and with the Govt. of NCT of Delhi, presents Yamuna – Elbe -Public.Art.Outreach project that will be held at the Golden Jubilee Park, near Old Yamuna Bridge in Delhi from November 9 till November 20, 2011. The project is expected to be one of the most prime and visible public projects for the year of Germany in India.
Co-curated by Ravi Agarwal, a well-acclaimed Indian artist and a practicing environmentalist from Delhi and Till Krause, a well known land artist from Hamburg who also runs an art space, Galerie für Landschaftskunst, this collaborative project is centered on the idea of creating ecological sustainable rivers in cities. Both the Elbe and the Yamuna are central to Hamburg and Delhi’s futures.
Artists whose work will be showcased in Delhi are Atul Bhalla, Asim Waqif, Gigi Scaria , Sheba Chhachhi with contributions by Vivan Sundram and others. The German artists participating in the Delhi event are Nana Petzet, Jochen Lempert, Clegg and Guttmann and Ines Lechleitner.
The art works in Delhi will consist of multimedia, interactive, or peformative on-site installations, dealing with the discourse around the river, with most artworks being installed along the river Yamuna.
Says co-curator Ravi Agarwal: “We need to rethink ecology and rivers in the 21st century where questions about human sustainability and futures have become key. Art is the framework which allows diverse ideas and imaginations to co-exist and helps in repositioning ourselves in relation to nature. The river is not only ‘polluted” or “clean,’ but is a beautiful landscape of the city, with many layers of aesthetic, social and political meanings.”
There are various and very involved discussions around rivers, intensified by current challenges facing water issues. There is great public interest in the subject, even though the dialogues may be different in each place. Some of the outreach activities will include school debates, river walks, film shows and writing workshops. The project which will be located on the river bank in Delhi, near the old Yamuna Bridge at the Golden Jubilee Park willprovide an opportunity for citizens to visit the river and explore the various art installations and programs to be held there. The event is open to all.
Details for the project will be available on their website Yamuna-elbe.de.
The objective of the public art project on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi is to activate the site on the river for a “river experience”. The project also has several outreach programmes as it has invited schools, youth and citizens of Delhi to visit the river, it will also include inter-school debates, photography competitions, writing workshops, river walks, most of which will be held at the river site.
The project will be an eco-friendly project with the use of solar energy for power requirements and electrically operated vans for transport to site and usage of recyclable material for production of artworks.
About The Artists
Atul Bhalla (lives in Delhi) has explored the physical, historical, spiritual and political significance of water to the urban environment and population of his city through artworks that incorporate sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography and performance.
About His work
The work will engage local villagers to make ‘Kuin’ (small wells) connected to the river water table, made from reeds and local grass. Each well will be covered with a small translucent tent. Each tent shall have a question as an LED running text. As they enter each tent, they will be faced with a question about themselves, the River and the city.
Delhi based Asim Waqif studied architecture at the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and is a Visiting Faculty there. His recent projects have a strong contextual reference to contemporary urban-design and the politics of occupying/ intervening/ using public spaces
About his work

A public art project made from the remnants of the pontoon bridge at Raj Ghat, which lies abandoned on the Geeta Colony banks of the river. The artist will make a giant island using the pontoons as floats. On this he will install a large bamboo and fabric structure (visually referenced to wind-powered boats), which will act like a beacon.
Gigi Scaria’s work draws the viewer’s attention towards the painful truths of migrancy and displacement. His particular position is to investigate how city structures, social constructs, and the view of location is translated in social prejudice and class attitude.
About his work
The Fountain of Purification
Gigi proposes a drinking water fountain, which will use contaminated water from the River Yamuna. The fountain will have 3 – 4 floors in its architectural structure. The water which pumps up from the lower structure of the fountain will go through a cleansing process before it reaches to the next level of the structure. The fountain will incorporate a mechanic devise, which will clean the water during its journey upwards so that at the final level the water will be as pure as drinking water. This water will again be channelized to the ground and made available for the public.
Sheba Chhachhi is a Delhi based installation artist, who works with multiple media and found objects to explore and communicate the power of feminine realization.
About her work
The Crossing
The audience will cross the river in specially altered local boats, which are equipped with video projection. As the boat moves from the ghat to the opposite shore, the video shows the future vision of the Yamuna river.
Surabhi Trivedi
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