A long term collaboration between the Goethe-Institut, Germany and Max Mueller Bhavan, Bangalore, the bangaloREsidency returns for the 2015 edition this week. Offering German artistes a space to work in India, and then use the culture and atmosphere to create an end product across various media, the residency will see 12 artistes calling the city their home, starting July 5. They’ll introduce themselves and their work at a Pecha-Kucha (means a quick format in Japanese) style presentation and then, the real work will begin and at the end of the two months, expect to see documentaries on public violence against women, the hip-hop scene in the city through a lens and film on the intricate lives of people. Other art spaces such as 1 ShanthiRoad, Jaaga, Ranga Shankara and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, will host
the artistes. We chat to some of them about their expectations, ideas and motivation, before they begin their residencies.
Sabine Felber –
Photographer & Sociologist
My father loved to take photos. He gave me my first camera when I was 14-years-old. At that time I was fascinated by words and stories. But when I got the camera, I immediately started to combine text and photos.
Tell us a bit about how you picked public safety as a theme.
In December 2012, I heard about massive violence against women in India. As a media-artiste and European woman who knows about sexual harassment all over the world, I asked myself: What would Indian people like to tell us about their situation? With photographical self-portraits and digital storytelling they could tell their story.
What are you expecting from Bangalore?
All aspects of people’s lives interest me. What they think about the pavement and the air might be as interesting to me as aspects of work and family. I will focus on getting to know Indian people, to help me learn about India.
Paul Hutchinson – Photographer
What got you interested in photography?
Photography for me has always been a necessity to approach other things, to somehow explain the world to myself. Photography provides a surface, a complex outlet, to actually do something with this interest, to channel and to visualise it.
What will be the focus of the residency?
The way I work allows me to relate to many things. People, situations, environments… But I can never really say what eventually will inspire me. It would feel wrong to arrive in India, a place I’d never be able to fully comprehend or decode, and already fully know what I will be doing.
Why does hip-hop, your subject, appeal to you?
It’s the overall feeling. The ‘ah, okay’ familiarity you experience with tracks you listen to continuously when you were 15 and you put them on 10-20 years later. The certainty when the beat’s running and you know exactly when the rap part is about to tune in.
Simona Koch – Visual Artist
Why did you choose to focus on society and ancestry?
Mankind and even all biological life is part of a chain reaction that started way back with the beginning of life on earth. So all life today is in connection with each other like invisible fabric.
What are you working towards?
Since 2012, I’ve been into a series of works, dealing with the life of the anorganic. There are things in the world that are said to not be living and yet they are in motion, can store information and are crucial building blocks for the bodies of living creatures. I want to continue this series of works with a film.
The introduction session is on July 10, 6.30 pm at Max Mueller Bhavan. Details: goethe.de
– Aakanksha Devi