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

Performance by Murali Cheeroth

Santhosh Sakhinala

 Evening of Day 2 - #kipaf15 -Victoria Memorial Back Gate 

The performance is collaborated between Murali, Chirantan and Uma, taken place in front of the Victoria Memorial gate in the late dusk. Murali lay on his back on the spread-out newspapers that at the same time marked the space. The space is further circumscribed by placing the candles and lighting them. Murali called for Chirantan in a casual manner after a few moments of his lying down on the newspaper-ed floor. After a few calls, that actually introduced a tinge of restlessness in the onlookers of Chirantan not arriving, he enters the performance space and goes close to Murali’sface. After making a suggestion of exchanging some information inhush-hushmanner, Murali expelled a mild shout saying “I am not a terrorist”. Chirantan responded to it with saying “missing”.  This dialogue of “I am not a terrorist” and “missing” between Murali and Chirantan continued while the participant-spectators also joined by uttering “missing”. The participant-spectators uttered the word “missing” in different modulations of sound and have almost grabbed the moment from the performers. Murali continued with his utterances interluding the names of the radical cultural figures of Bengal like RamkinkarBaij, ManikBandopadyay, RitwikGhatak etc. From the beginning Murali wore a deadpan expression. He slowly lifted his head whenever he uttered the words in a monotonous tone but, with a touch of mild and contained emotion that contrasted with expressionistic vocal expulsions “missing” by Chirntan.

After a while, Chirantan started colouring the spread out newspapers on the floor with red pigment. After marking the space, as if painted entirely, Chirantan picked up a polythene packet filled and sealed with some semi-liquid. Four such packets were kept right above where Murali laid down. The packet filled the hands of Chirantan as he applied pressure to it while walking in the space and uttering “missing”. He tore the packets in four corners and moved as the semi-liquid substance, white in colour started falling on the floor. Rituparna held some of it and started eating it. It is at this moment the white semi-liquid substance turned to have signified curd. Few spectators followed Rituparna and it significantly altered the meaning and intensity of the performance.

Murali circulated pieces of papers of two kinds before he started to perform. Some were written “missing” on the top on which, signatures of the spectators were to be collected and the other set was written with “artist@work”. As the performance reached intensity, some of the participant-spectators started spreading them randomly around and on the body of Murali. As Chirantan finished squeezing out curd from the last packet, Murali stood up and gestured the end. 

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