Chennai | Water | Dialogue
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. Our objectives were – and are! - to see the river from a different perspective, create public dialogue, reflect upon collective responsibility and encourage action.
Although we received a lot of encouragement from different authorities, unfortunately permissions were not granted by for art on the Cooum even after trying for two years! So, what then? Art never gives up! 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. We decided that the original artists’ ideas and plans had to be made known to the citizens of Chennai and to engage in a discussion of ‘what could have been, if...’. 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 ...
DAMnedART is part of our larger Embrace Our Rivers initiative to engage with questions on urban water through art, culture and crossed-perspectives. DAMnedART is curated by Ravi Agarwal from India and Florian Matzner from Germany.