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Negotiating Routes:Ecologies Of The Byways 2010
The Negotiating Routes – Ecologies of the Byways invited creative practitioners to propose site-specific and interdisciplinary projects in response to the National Highway Development Program (NHDP) which had put land acquisition on fast track and was taking legal and police action against non-performing contractors and displaced villagers and tribals alike. The projects combined research and art, while addressing the visible and invisible transformations taking place in their immediate environments. Negotiating Routes encouraged archiving of local knowledge and mythologies about various ecologies whilst also facilitating a collaborative dialogue between the artist and the local community.
About this edition
“The planting of seven thousand oak trees is thus only a symbolic beginning. And such a symbolic beginning requires a marker, ….the intention of such a tree-planting event is to point up the transformation of all of life, of society, and of the whole ecological system…”- Joseph Beuys-7000 Oaks, Documenta 7, Kassel 1982.
7000 Oaks functions not just literally in environmental terms, but also symbolically as inspirational imagery. It embodies Beuys’s utopian and poetic metaphysic of a social sculpture, designed to initiate a revolution in human consciousness, by means of its permanence and longevity: “the human being as a spiritual being.” The work also sought to render “the world a big forest, making towns and environments forest-like”.
In 2006 the Taiwanese artist Wu Mali floated the idea of diverse artist groups planting trees across the Tropic of Cancer: a queen’s necklace adorning the earth – a project that was the outcome of individual initiation and could work as an intimate, small-scale project as well as a highly ambitious, potentially vast undertaking intended to be replicated elsewhere.
Inspired by the need to render “the world a big forest, making towns and environments forest-like.”, Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways invited reflection by artists on the anxiety of the ‘development’ embodied in the rank infrastructural growth in India and its coexistence with local ecologies. It was a specific response to the Road Transport Ministry’s ambitious plan of the biggest public-private partnership whereby 15,000 km of roads and highways would be developed over three years across India, resulting in golden corridors running north to south and east to west across the country. To expedite the implementation of over 165 projects under the National Highway Development Program (NHDP) during the year, land acquisition was on fast track, including shifting of utilities, obtaining clearances and taking legal and police action against non-performing contractors and displaced villagers and indigenous populations alike.
The Negotiating Routes – Ecologies of the Byways project invited artists, artists groups or professionals to propose projects, which were site-specific and had an inter-disciplinary approach combining research and art creation by artists and local communities. NR addressed the visible and invisible transformations currently taking place in immediate environments. The project encouraged archiving local knowledge and mythologies about various ecologies like the flora, fauna, home remedies, folklore, as also the visibilisation of an artist by a specific action or project.
Over two years, Negotiating Routes mapped the various project sites across the country, to create an alternative road map where artists and communities had come together in discussions on the regeneration of the local ecology of the cities or villages that they inhabited. Using the nomenclature of the National Highway or NH1, each site, ironically named NR1, NR2, formed the nodal points of this alternative mapping as they connect to each other metaphorically, a route ‘ marked’ by art where transfer and exchange of knowledge had taken place.
This project was initiated by Varsha Nair and was co-curated by Pooja Sood at KHOJ.
NR 1: Varsha Nair, Wadhwana Wetlands, Vadodara.
NR 2: Aastha Chauhan, with Henvalvani Community Radio, Gharelu Nushke & Muft Ki Salah, Chamba, Tehri Gehrwal
NR 3: Frame Works Collective, Negotiating Routes: Sikkim
NR 4: Maraa, The Katte Project, Bengaluru
Curatorial Intensive South Asia 2023
The fifth edition of Curatorial Intensive South Asia (CISA) 2023 returns with tutors Latika Gupta, curator based in Delhi and Shuddhabrata Sengupta from Raqs Media Collective. The Phase I of the Intensive is a combination of talks, seminars and workshops that look at histories of exhibition-making, institutions and their limitations. Emerging discussions incorporate a wide range of curatorial frameworks and…
Functioning as a unique residency model that closely curates artists at the start of their professional careers, the Peers residency is populated with artists’ visits and interactions, studio visits and curated exhibition walk-throughs, for the residents to have a gamut of art-related experiences and exposure. The Peers residency ends with an Open Day, where resident artists show their works in…
Negotiating Routes:Ecologies Of The Byways 2011
The second edition of the Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways project brought forth a range of creative interventions looking at issues of ecology, society, and community. The selected projects investigated and navigated these topics from the diverse regions of rural Bengal, the mountains of Badrinath, the suburbs of Bengaluru, etc. Negotiating Routes was initiated by Varsha Nair and co-curated by…
Negotiating Routes:Ecologies Of The Byways 2012
The Negotiating Routes project invited artists, artists groups or professionals to propose site-specific projects that have an inter-disciplinary approach that combines research and art creation by artists and local communities, addressing the visible and invisible transformations currently taking place in their immediate environments. The project will encourage archiving of local knowledge and mythologies about various ecologies like the flora, fauna,…
Negotiating Routes:Ecologies Of The Byways 2013
In its fourth year, Negotiating Routes mapped the various project sites across the country to create an alternative road map, where artists and communities discussed the regeneration of the local ecology of their cities or villages together. Using the nomenclature of the National Highway or NH1, each site was ironically named NR1, NR2, and formed the nodal points of an…
Negotiating Routes:Ecologies Of The Byways 2014
The fifth edition of the Negotiating Routes: Ecologies of the Byways project brought forth a series of projects and proposals from across the country that looked at ecology, society, and community. The projects investigated these topics from landscapes as diverse as the mountains of Uttarakhand and the lake regions of Odisha to the forests of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and…
Does The Blue Sky Lie?: Testimonies of Air’s Toxicities A Staged Hearing
Conceived by Khoj International Artists’ Association and Zuleikha Chaudhari, in collaboration with lawyer Harish Mehla; ‘In the matter Re: Rights of Nature’ is a staged hearing which foregrounds the Rights of Nature as an expansion of the Right to Life as enshrined under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Following on from an earlier project, Landscape As Evidence: Artist As Witness which was…
28th Parallel North – An Expeditionary Weather Station
Formed in response to the climate emergency, the World Weather Network is a constellation of weather stations set up by 28 arts agencies around the world and an invitation to look, listen, learn, and act. For Khoj’s Weather Station, artists and researchers Shahana Rajani and Zahra Malkani, Atul Bhalla, Mithu Sen and Raqs Media Collective are undertaking walks and treks…
Making Sense Of Crisis – Art As Schizoanalysis: A Symposium And Exhibition
Schizoanalysis, as a concept, found currency with the Postermodernist turn, through the writings of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. Posed as a challenge to the violence of psychoanalysis and the Oedipal understanding of the world, schizoanalysis proposed to move away from the clinical underpinnings of psychoanalysis and psychiatry, breaking out of the hierarchies between the doctor and the patient, to…
Does The Blue Sky Lie?: Testimonies of Air’s Toxicities Cafe Classroom
As an arts space, Khoj is constantly grappling with modes of knowledges across disciplines. Our curatorial approach strongly emphasises learning as praxis, accepting our role as trying to forge together new entry points into the thematics that interest us. Over the course of researching Does the Blue Sky Lie?, we realised the need to relearn what we know about the…
Khoj x TBA21 on St_age The Aerosol Chronicles Capture Omlojan
The Aerosol Chronicles Capture Omlojan is a six-part sequential exploration with sound, voice, and moving images. Conceptualized in the wake of auto-generated toxicities that swarm in the air, this artwork attempts to spend some time with the question of being in common with ‘our’ atmosphere. It is also an exploration in not forgetting that there exist radically different ways of…
Does The Blue Sky Lie?: Testimonies of Air’s Toxicities Exhibition
The Does the Blue Sky Lie? exhibition brings together works by Abhishek Hazra, Architecture for Dialogue + Salil Parekh, Hanna Husberg, Thukral and Tagra, Pradip Saha, Saraab (Shahana Rajani, Omer Wasim), and Sharbendu De. Engaging with questions of being in “common” with our atmosphere, the works delve into the effects of extractive infrastructures on landscapes, the hubris of technocratic solutions…
Khoj x TBA21 on St_age Safarnama
A sound piece tracing the textures and toxicities of air. Invoking the presence of jinns to explore the textures and toxicities of air, Safarnama (2020) activates natural and sacred worlds to pay attention to the intimacy of toxic colonialisms. Borrowing its name from and referencing the history of travel literature produced in the Islamic world, Safarnama traces the journey of…
Does The Blue Sky Lie?: Testimonies of Air’s Toxicities air expo 22
Come BREATHE with us Come LIVE with us Come ADOPT a piece of the sky with us Come PLAY with us Come IMAGINE a future with us Masks. Air Purifiers. Anti-Smog Guns. Smog Towers. Wearable Ion Generating Purifiers. Techno-scientific innovations are seen as the most desirable solutions for toxic airs by a neoliberal society. The first episode of Does the…
Does The Blue Sky Lie?: Testimonies of Air’s Toxicities 2019-2022
“Can man live elsewhere than in air?” – Luce Irigray Air is the site of “smell, breath, wind, weather, air conditioning, air pollution, science, sound, oxygen, smoking —the tactility of the atmosphere.” – Timothy Choy To live in New Delhi is to be in constant and intimate communion with toxicity— being marked in a bodily way by where you live…
Indoor-Outdoor: Dancewalks with Foofwa d’Imobilité
INDOOR DANCEWALKS – RETROPERSPECTIVES AND VOYAGE 4 December 2019, at 6PM The indoor Dancewalk is a paradox that will be an initiation to the outdoor Dancewalk. The local and indoor Dancewalk let’s one apprehend with intimacy, the freedom of traveling through dance, in body and spirit, but within enclosed space(s). It is also an analytical and historical account of the…