The six to seven weeks of the bangaloREsidency 2019 Season II have flown by. They were intense, filled with research on various topics, kilometres of exploratory tours in Bangalore and Kochi and delicate mini-work into the night - until they culminated in the state of the art final presentations by the artists.
Our bangaloREsidents sum up their time at the bangaloREsidency and give insights into their experiences and perspectives on Bangalore and Kochi:
In our bangaloREsidency 2019 at Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan with our host SandboxCollective we explored the topics of commercial surrogacy in India - and Western spiritual tourism to India. We immersed ourselves in Fertility Clinics, Surrogate Homes and an Ashram. Since this research turned out be an incredible pool of experiences and situations, we would like to share some quotes that crossed our way:
„Happy mothers, happy babies“ (Slogan der CloudNine Fertility Clinic)
„The joy of motherhood - without the worries“ (Slogan der Portea Home Care Services der CloudNine Fertility Clinic)
„A new way to family - join our community of people who are all ready to have kids“ (modamily.com)
„Pregnancy is beautiful. At Cloudnine we consider Pregnancy the most beautiful time of your life. Our Cosmetology experts offer safe treatments of highest quality standards, ensuring you look your best, before, during and after your pregnancy.“ (CloudNine Fertility Clinic über ihre Dienstleistungen)
„On Cloudnine, we believe in magic to miracles, moments to memories! We believe that maternity is an experience and each phase deserves to shine and be celebrated with a belief in only the good kind of bumps.“ (CloudNine Fertility Clinic über ihre Dienstleistungen)
„There is a woman who desperately needs a baby, and there is another woman at the other side of the planet who wants to help her sister. AshramMommies is the thread connecting these two.“ (Dr. Radhika Nair, fiktiver Charakter in der Präsentation AshramMommies von THE AGENCY’s)
„Carefully Handpicked. All our surrogates are carefully selected based on a stringent series of fertility criteria, with the most significant being age. Members of our surrogacy pool are all young, fit and healthy.“ (CloudNine Fertility Clinic über ihre Dienstleistungen)
„I am the baby’s real mother. I suffered the pain of birth” (Erfahrung einer Leihmutter, nachzulesen in: Amrita Pande, Wombs in Labor)
„I have had two babies already as a surrogate, one 3,5 kg. And one 3,2 kg“ (eine stolze Leihmutter in der Akanksha Clinic erzählt uns von ihrer Arbeit)
„My mission is to see a smile on every face. One World Family“ (Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, Begründer des Art of Living Ashram and Foundation)
„Rice is purified by ghee, our body by Ayurveda, our intellect by knowledge, our emotions by satsang and our soul by meditation, similarly, our money is purified by charity.“ (Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, Begründer des Art of Living Ashram and Foundation)
Raisa Galofre und Marvin Systermans
"Leaving Bangalore behind after spending days and weeks exploring its many different spaces, its dynamics and materialities, the project „Concrete Discontinuities“ continues. The city seems to constantly produce new situations and new imagery so we will make sure to come back."
Jo Wanneng & Lukas Fütterer aka STRWÜÜ
Final mass production for the exhibition at the Bangalore International Centre
Final mass production for the exhibition at the Bangalore International Centre
Detail of the exhibition "Jump with an Equanimous Posture into the River", 01.12.2019
Concert of STRWÜÜ at the Cubbon Parc Metro Station, 28.12.2019
My time in Bangalore and especially in Kochi was very enriching and inspiring for me. While I usually spend a lot of time on the computer doing research, I was always on the go in Kochi, taking pictures and conducting interviews for my project. The daily support from my hosts Pepper House – Kochi Muziris Biennale allowed me to collect many stories and pictures, which I can now edit in Berlin. Also, many of my assumptions about invasive species, my theme for this residency, have been refuted, which has challenged me in the best possible way.
My exploration of the social perception of women’s body scent started upon my arrival to Bangalore when I received a garland of jasmine flowers by the Goethe-Institute. I learned that it is customary for women to wear jasmine flowers in their hair. During my residency, I met wonderful women with whom I had an open dialogue about both the perception of personal body scents by others and their perception of different body scents. They told me that it was a rare topic for them to talk about. I look forward to continuing this dialogue, as well as opening a wider discussion about body scents in my artistic research in Bangalore in 2020.
collecting body scent
I would like to start with saying that this work has come as a surprise to me. And this makes me really happy, being surprised by my own work. My original ideas for this residency turned out to be unrealizable at least in this short amount of time being here. And I felt lost for a while. A residency in another country is always a challenge, not only physically because of different food and climate but also emotionally. It takes you out of your comfort zone and creates lots of questions. This is a good starting point for a new work.
The starting point for this work comes from my own experience of being in Bangalore and having to admit to myself that the city intimidates me. It brings out all my insecurities: How do I move, how do I look, what kind of gestures do I use? How does my gender affect these experiences? I started having conversations with women about their involvement in the city. I asked how the immediate environment makes us feel. I asked how we navigate gendered spaces, where we feel safe and how gender roles within familial environments shape our life.
My way of working is based on a direct exchange with people. Central to my practice is creating processes and situations of communication. In sharing experiences and stories with other women I learned about personal tactics,
empowerment strategies, violent incidents but also strengths you can gain from this city. While talking we explored sameness and difference. Sharing these experience I learned that we have a lot in common. Asking and listening made me understand myself in this situation better. I was touched by many of the personal tactics to deal with the city.
Bangalore is a city with people, cultures and languages from a lot of different places. For some its a place of liberation, for others it bears more limitations. These talks changed my perception and accordingly my feeling and behavior in the city.
In most of my works I uses fabric and textiles, so also here in Bangalore I looked at different textile traditions, met with handloom weavers, producers and sellers of textiles. I started collecting sarees, and became fascinated with this really ancient 6 yard long uncut piece of cloth that you can drape in a hundred ways around your body. I looked at the design of each saree, the way the border is made and concentrated on the pallu, the end piece of the saree that you fold behind your shoulder. The pallu often has lines and shapes that make frames. And these lines -to me- were almost asking for a text to hold.
I printed statements of the conversations onto the sarees, each saree telling an individual story. Text and textile both words have the same origin– which come from the same Latin origin meaning “to weave.” A text is woven out of words, sometimes you find a thread leading you while reading. I wanted the texts to become part of the saree, both the textand the textile being equally important for each other.
Together with a designer I met in Bangalore we made the graphic layout for each saree and a local screen printer helped me to screenprint the sarees- each of them being a single piece. The work has culminated into a textile installation bringing together a pluralistic view that recognises gendered realities, but also touches on issues and concerns of different sexualities, gender-identities and sexual violence against women and gender minorities.