The DAMnedART project
Imagine art along the Cooum and by the beach in Chennai
20 Indian and International artists
Venue: Lalit Kala Akademi
Dates: 02 Feb to 04 March 2018
Time: 11 am to 9 pm daily
All are welcome!
Originally, DAMnedART was a Public.Art.Awareness. manifestation that would have highlighted 13 art installations and performances by 20 Indian and international artists on the Cooum River Estuary and Marina Beach. Addressing the dramatic situation of urban water through Public Art would have been something totally new for Chennai. Our objectives were – and are! – to see the river from a different perspective, create public dialogue, reflect upon collective responsibility and encourage action. Open to everyone, we expected lakhs of citizens and visitors from all walks of life to experience big artworks inter-mingling with the urban landscape, the river and the ocean, Napier Bridge, the spires of the stately Madras University – also the foul smell of the water and the garbage everywhere.
Instead of the open urban space, where public art projects happen worldwide, we saw ourselves confined to a traditional exhibition space with an entrance, walls and all the rest. The originally planned artworks could not be shown; they were conceived to be site-specific and meant to be experienced on the river banks. So, what then? We decided that the original artists’ reflections and plans had to be made known to the citizens of Chennai and to engage in a discussion of ‘what could have been, if…’. This apparent paradox seemed to be the only way to finally address the public and not let the momentum go by – unrecognized. What you can see in this exhibition is the artists showing us in multiple ways – through video installations, films, large photos, models, animation, drawings and text – what their art on the river banks would have been .
Download the brochure with details and full programme schedule here.