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.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Neha Tickoo's Review

As the group of performers have assembled around one corner of Victoria Gate , Swiss artist Dorothea Rust begins to mobilise them by pushing the people around with her shoulder and with her sound like “hooh”. The audiences around her were the group of performers from PI who already knew of her performance. People on their part, were responding favouring her insistence, her shoving and cajoling to move. But since some members decided to defy the mob reactions, she began to make use of expressions of helplessness while asking the audiences to “move” repeatedly. Her facial expressions transformed dramatically, almost like pleading in askance. Her intention was to gather the whole group to the centre of the vast ground. Eventually as all of them gathered at the centre she makes use of few drawings. These were roughly maps of some European countries like Italy, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and a couple more.

Along with the outlined drawings of the countries, there were outlined drawings of a donkey as well. After a few interactive rounds with the audiences urging the people to think of their origins as homo sapiens, she begins to talk about how the human being is also an animal trudging with two legs. There is certain affection with which she talks about the specie of donkey. She explains post this performance that some time ago in Chille, she had performed a work, where she had herself photographed along with the carcass of a donkey which she found fascinating.

Proceeding further with her performance, she insists the audience to participate in a mirroring exercise. They willingly oblige and what ensues is a movement session roughly along the lines of a song “you are so beautiful to me” by Ray Charles. This part of her performance is especially endearing as one can notice a playful interaction between her and her followers, in that short song-dance session.

The juice of Dorothea’s performance lies in the fact that she is a trained dancer and a musician and for her the experience of the physical corporeal body is of a much greater importance. By making the participants move along with her coordinating with her movements, perhaps she brought the human being on the same bar as that of a donkey, considered a beast of burden, a stupid animal. It was from some strange sentimentality that she radiated her love for a donkey, and which radiated far enough to the so-called intellectual animal - homo sapiens, one that build all the countries of this planet, singing well in tune with her emotions.

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