Introducing KIPAF

PERFORMERS iNDEPENDENT (Pi) was an independent artists' collective, experimenting and exploring the traditional, modernist and contemporary spaces in the cultural paradigm. The Kolkata International Performance Art Festival was initiated by Pi in 2012 to annually open up the city of Kolkata to diverse traditions of performance, performitivty and interventions. Since then Pi has got fragmented but KIPAF has taken deeper roots.

The festival aims to be a platform for dialogue between site, art, politics and culture. KIPAF acknowledges the nascent nature of Performance Art in India, and will always play a role in the pedagogy of performance art.
The festival is be held between 23rd-26th January every year.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Kipaf 2015 - Open Call

Kolkata International Performance Art Festival 2015
Curatorial Note

‘if Jodi is hoi,
Yet tobu,
But kintu,
What mane ki?’

With the recognition of political differences, the spaces of and for contestations grow that provokes cultural articulations. Space as a site, stage and location is imploding with the potential to contradict and contest the established power relations and cultural desires. Performance art aids us to intervene in those socio-cultural desires and make evident the possible alternative modes of thinking and being, where being is a condition of constant formation. Interventions can be made by re-enacting the everyday activities in performative gestures and, politics of contestation embodied in a spatial frame can introduce a poetic rupture and transformative ambiguity. Performance art provides us modes and languages of engaging with space by reconfiguring the available representations of the body—the medium—and a possibility to explore the body to act as a site of inhabiting that space and the emotions, sentiments, moral anxieties. Hence, we are in agreement that performance art has the potential to convert a space with hidden tensions into a contested space by introducing and interrogating these tensions.

How do we conceive the role of Kolkata, the city space, while spatially identifying it as our site of source of collective embodiment during KIPAF 2015? We treat spatial presence as intersected, particularly at present, with multiple temporalities, discourses of identity and new aspirations to progress where, space is approached as material, measurable and marketable resource. Kolkata International Performance Art Festival (KIPAF) – 2015 aims to explore the concept and materiality of space in its multiplicity and complexity and reveal the possible contestations that are both visible and invisible. This exploration simultaneously involves an active interrogation of the grammar and language of performance art itself, but more importantly the very notion of ‘contestation’ from the perspective of a disciplinary critique of performance art.

Keeping its minority position within the field of art and its history, performance art as language endows us with a lever to question the aesthetics of contemporary art practices. We would also like the participants to ponder over notions of space (subterranean, official, ornamental), the very idea of contestation, its relation with performance art, and ways in which contestation is performed within the framework of performance art.  KIPAF itself is emerging as a site of contestations, challenging the notions of what is organization? What is curation? And what are the broader implications of the ways in which the curatorial space is produced and circulated? Where do we stand in relation to these modes of production and distribution?

KIPAF15 invites applications in three following categories:

Curated Section

The section would include the set of proposals that KIPAF considers as the core representative of the festival, taking into account the extent of resonance of the proposals with KIPAF-15 curatorial note and the engagement with the framework of performance art practice.

Open Section

The proposals invited in this section are aimed to include as many participant artists as possible, from across the hierarchies of practices, regions and nations. The performances selected of this section may run parallel to the curated section.

Students Section

Keeping the growth of performance art practice within the art schools and increasing interest of the student-artists, this section welcomes the students to perform, participate and interact with the artists in enriching themselves as well as the general understanding of performance art at present.

We don’t aim to create any commodity or service.

We try to create an atmosphere for communication among artists and friends and also with the place and its people. We presume that art rises or falls out of atmospheres.

Performance art offers us a medium where diverse disciplines can meet. We try to work with the bare minimum as far as money is concerned. We organize KIPAF with small contributions and donations from friends and public bodies. We think it necessary to keep this festival as a place to practice art and interaction outside the patronage of big capital.

Unable to offer the artists any remuneration or travel expenses to and from Kolkata, we take responsibilities of the curated artists’ stay, food and local conveyance in the city. We will share the same with all participants as much as our limits allow.

Performers independent’s basic concern is to work with the science and art of our traditional hospitality and local fair (shadhu-shanga) practices in our present urban art contexts.

23rd January to 26th January 2015

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