bangaloREsident@1 Shanthi Road
The artist group bösediva is looking for a new mix of the devices of theatre and the visual arts. The work focusses on freedom and dissidence in western societies. One of the main subjects of research is the tension between the romantic impulses of narrative in theatre and literature and the supposed purity of the art object as an object to project onto and a commodity. Other subjects were the blurring of the boundaries between the sexes, the male and female body and their representations.
bösediva utilises performance art, sculpture, video- and sound-installation. Beauty is on display, often in huge intricately designed spaces, but it is not meant to overpower. bösediva insists on offering spectators an aesthetic experience which can also be experienced as alienating, and aims at giving spectators the highest possible amount of autonomy to design their own experience.
Elisa Duca and Robin Detje are bösediva.
Elisa Duca has worked as a classical actress and has a degree in theatre from the DAMS-Institute at the University of Bologna. Following numerous independent theatre and performance projects in Italy and Germany (with “Einstürzende Neubauten”, among others) she worked as assistant director with Meg Stuart at Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz in Berlin. She teaches and coaches young adults and adults in performance art techniques, at Maxim Gorki Theater, Deutsches Theater and University of the Arts in Berlin, among others.
Robin Detje is a trained actor. For many years he worked as a critic, for DIE ZEIT, Süddeutsche Zeitung and Berliner Zeitung, among others. He is the author of Castorf – Provokation aus Prinzip (Berlin 2002) . Besides his work as an artist, he is also a literary translator (of Kiran Desai, Gary Shteyngart, William T. Vollmann, among others) and was awarded the Leipzig Book Fair Prize in 2014.
Since 2009, bösediva has presented work in Berlin at Sophiensaele, LEAP and silent green Kulturquartier, als well as nationally and internationally (at SET UP Art Fair, Bologna, IT, the Santarcangelo Festival, IT; zeitraumexit, Mannheim; PATHOS München; scatolabianca, Milan and Venice, IT, among others). bösediva has received funding from Bezirk Oberbayern, NPN and Hauptstadtkulturfonds.
For the duration of the bangaloREsidency, bösediva will be working on a project at the boundaries of Performance Art and Land Art, PROCESSING is about establishing a new order which does and does not make sense – much the same way poetry tries to make sense by establishing its very own rules of language The work is about the constant production and deletion of images, about the becoming of things and their infinite possibilities.
A Tuesday in April, maximum temperature: 39 degrees Celsius.
5:30 am: rise and shine. Sleeping in is no fun anyway: the heat is coming, the dogs are barking, the big honking fest begins.
Suresh is up already, drinking his green tea.
Maureen is too punctual in picking me up: 6:20 am. We are going to yoga class in Lavelle Road (that's French, she says, but it must be mispronounced for the rickshaw driver to understand).
Yoga class is on a terrace on the 5th floor., it's 6:45, sweating already. But that's okay. For me, this is great. Yoga in Berlin was boring, for years. Here everybody comes together, office workers, housewives, college students, pregnant women, all practicing together. Our teacher is petite, funny and strict. We sweat and sing (ok, I don't sing with the others), and then that was it, we are fit and the day begins.
Back at 1 Shanthi Road.
Mangos, bananas and coconuts await.
So does Suresh.
“Do you want to go to the city market?” Off we go. The City Market is a small, denser version of Bangalore: noisy, dirty, colourful, hectic. The best place to shop, and the best place to study people. Suresh walks fast, I am trying to keep up. We buy: paan leaves, camphor, onion sacks, lanterns, plastic gloves, kumkum, thread, neon-colored scouring pads, a saw, five coconut graters.
Back home. Lunch is ready at 1 Shanthi Road. The cook is here, she comes almost every day. For 100 Rupees, we can get a meal at home.
We switch on the fan in the gallery space and begin our work session of the day. The work is about manipulating objects from Bangalore, about chaos and order. Suresh drops by. He stands in the doorway for a couple of minutes and leaves. “I like what you did”, he will say later.
After our session there are artists everywhere. Sitting in the courtyard in discussion, sleeping on Suresh's office bed in the house, planning new steps in their fight to save Venkatappa Gallery. We take part in it happily.
Night falls early. Two days ago I bought fabric on the textile market, no I want to take it to the tailor. I have to cross the street four times to get there. I still don't understand how it can be done. Though I did it so many times. To cross the street in Bangalore, you have to forget everything you learned in Europe about traffic.
On my way back I drop by the booze shop, I need a beer to relax.
The per diem is part of the experience: As long as you live and eat and go out the way the locals do, it is more than enough. White wine is expensive, unfortunately. For white wine, you have to wait for Christoph's next party.
Of my per diem of 1000 Rupees I spent today: 300 for yoga class, 20 for 1 litre of water, 30 for a giant papaya, 140 for the rickshaw ride, 100 for lunch, 90 for a beer, 125 for curry and lemonade at Foody's.
Robin: Mixing with Animals
We live in a Badam Tree. It grows on the lot next door and arches over half the house.
We live with animals, the animals in the tree. The crows are the loudest ones, “knock, knock, knock” they go. Supposedly, crows are almost as intelligent as monkeys. They can recognise people by the face. On one of my first days underneath the Badam Tree, a crow places herself on a branch an arm's length away and stares at me. They leave me in peace after that.
You have to stay on the right side of the crows. They chase the skinny cat we see around a lot out of the tree pecking their beaks on to its head. In the skies over the Badam Tree, the crows try to snatch away the prey from the black kites. Three black kites have to get together to chase away one crow. When the crows are not there, two palm squirrels dart through the tree.
The big red ants are always there, they use the powerlines that go through the tree as a shortcut. Ashok was bitten by the big red ants. Not us. It always depends on the attitude you display.
At night, around six, you can sit on the roof and watch the black kites trying to make a last catch before dark. Parakeets fly over the house, 20, 30 at a time, towards the west, where their night quarters are. Pretty much at seven o'clock sharp the giant fruit bats appear from the northwest. One by one, slowly, elegantly. At night you can sometimes see them hanging in the trees, head down, guzzling on fruit. When they spread their wings, they transport you into in a horror movie.
Once the monkeys came and trashed everything they could find on the roof under the Badam Tree. They sucked an old highlighter dry and broke big branches off the tree. Then they were gone.
And once we set up art underneath the Badam Tree. Immediately there was a pigeon, pecking around on it, checking it out. The minute the pigeon left, a palm squirrel appeared and studied everything closely. And then the big red ants very quickly devoured everything of our art that tasted good to them.
The crows and the monkeys, the giant fruit bats and the palm squirrels, the black kites and the pigeons and the ants – curators!