Utsha Foundation to organize Bhubaneswar Art Trail

Stripped to its essentials, the art event is an attempt to unravel the multiple narratives which form the collective identity, history and culture of Bhubaneswar, the historic capital city of Odisha. We are using this interactive public art project as a way to involve the community and artists to understand how we imagine and remember a city. Through various art projects our focus is to highlight how the city of Bhubaneswar is imagined and how it is remembered now. Cities are mediated by received knowledge and people’s memories and imaginations. Using public art as an important vector our attempt is to map the collective journey in the formation of a city by navigating through personal memories and learned knowledges.

This project is located in a trail of 1.3 km in the historical city of Bhubaneswar. The street houses important medieval monuments, modern and contemporary architecture, schools, shops, public institutions, etc. Artists Artists will to explore these edifices from different time periods, the trail, interact with the community, their history, personal memories, etc. to map the transformations and record not only the memories but the aspirations of the community and their dreams and yearnings about the city.

The theme of this edition is ‘Navigation is Offline’ and is curated by Jagannath Panda and Premjish Achari. The title of this curatorial proposal refers to the contemporary technology-driven societies’ overreliance on navigational technologies to identify, access and reach destinations. We look at the world through our cameras and our world has reduced to flat images which are uploaded, liked and shared in social media. Scholars have noticed how ‘screens at once provide (the screen as window onto the world) and prohibit (the screen as buffer or barrier) access to our global social, political and economic realities’. It affects and conditions our understanding of the world.

This project is an attempt to address this issue in our contemporary life. We are attempting to understand the memories, stories, tales and the history associated with the people living around this short trail. We as travellers will chronicle its biography. While being in this trail we will retell tales of our own journeys while also listening to the new tales from Bhubaneswar.

In all, 20 artists from Odisha and other states of India as also from abroad have confirmed their participation in the project. The important contemporary artists, who are participating from India and abroad, are Gigi Scaria, Sudarshan Shetty, Arunkumar H.G., Markus Baenziger, etc.

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