29 Nov. 2016


Linear Modernity and Spaghetti Harvests, par Sumesh Sharma

→ Bâtiment Boulevard Helvétique

The workshop presents modules of art history and our relationships to materiality in visual practices.  The idea of production in Clark House is a political act and the methods used to produce both engage in the ideas of community and audience building rather than the object addressing those questions.  Clark House is an artist union that traverses timelines of art history, one that refuses to accept the linear journey that art history has descended through to form pedagogy that is inherently racist and ignorant.  This systemic problem creates the issue of dishonest representational practices that pander to exoticism.  Thus we propose the idea of equivocal modernisms and conceptual practices that narrate similar political acts and needs but differ in aesthetic.  The workshop investigates into conceptual practice but moves away from the box of conceptual aesthetic defined in the 60s.  We do not disagree from all that happened in the 60s actually are inspired by the movements of Fluxus,  Arte Povera,  Feminism & the Sexual Revolution and the shaman Joseph Beuys but the aesthetics theoreticised by writers makes these essentialisms static and non accepting to aesthetic norms outside the sphere of Europe and North America.
Like cuisine visual cultures constantly travel,  cooking together a pot of Indian Pasta Masala,  demonstrates the non-authenticity  of any cultural practice.  Indian cuisine depends on chillies,  potatoes,  onions,  garlic and tomatoes all brought to India from the new world or apparently as termed by colonialists – South America.  This apparent illegitimacy of our cuisine is atypical to our visual culture.  Creolisation is something we inhabit rather than aspire to.  This allows us a queering of history and space.  Modernism is a lived aesthetic specially in a region where the question of development is so apparent.  Everyone aspires to be modern in a union of 1.2 billion people.  How are we Equivocal in our thoughts.  The workshop follows the practice of Zamthingla Ruivah,  an artist in the eastern hills in Northeast India,  – Manipur,  her practice arose from a protest against the molestation and rape of her neighbour Luingamla by the Indian army and soon become a public monument and performance.  Participants are invited to come work with her woven stories in wool and perform her songs. Dolls made out of rag cloth from a religious festival in Ayodhya detail these aspiration of modernism,  Clark House invites you to lend them into your practice as found objects.

Clark House Initiative is a curatorial collaborative and a union of artists based in Bombay. It was established in 2010 by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma is a curatorial collaborative and artist union concerned with ideas of freedom. Strategies of  equality have informed their work, while experiments in re-reading of histories, and concerns of representation and visibility, are ways to imagine alternative economies and freedom. Clark House Initiative intends to actively recall political and artistic figures into contemporaneity, and to question the recent rise of fascism in India based on exaggerated rumours of economic prosperity and nationalist pride.

Membership arises from basic tenets of humanism –  Friendship ,  Anti-Racism, Sexual Freedom,  Anti-Homophobia,  Anti-Islamophobia,  Feminism, Secularism and understanding the project of Modernism as an economic and political reality outside the occident.  We draw from the Black Panthers Party,  Dalit Panthers Party,  Fluxus Group,  Richard Wright,  John Cage,  AA Raiba,  Joseph Beuys,  Frantz Fanon,  BR Ambedkar,  Namdeo Dhasal, Cheikh Anta Diop, Nil Yalter, Jean Bhowanagary and Krishna Reddy.   17 artists run the union that gathers many more and are based across many seas. Saviya Lopes is the youngest member of the union and most radical in thoughtand life. Amol K Patil and Yogesh Barve will co-direct Clark House from September 2016 onwards.

Sumesh Sharma

Cofondateur du centre d’art Clark House Initiative, un projet né à Bombay en 2010, Sumesh Sharma (1983) est un commissaire d’exposition. Sa pratique s’oriente autour de ces histoires alternatives dessinées, entre autres, par le mouvement Black Arts, par les sciences économiques et sociales, par l’histoire de l’immigration dans les pays francophones, les égalités vernaculaires, les mouvements de la conscience noire, …

Son master de recherche réalisé à l’Université Paul Cézanne (Aix-en-Provence) en 2008, était une enquête sur des carrières artistiques, il a participé aux cours de commissariat d’exposition la biennale de Gwangju en 2010 ainsi qu’à la première session des cours intensifs de Independant Curators International’s Curatorial à Bombay. Il a été résident à ISCP New York (2012), à la Kadist Art Foundation Paris (2013), au programme Manifesta Online Residency (2013), à la Casa Masaccio Tuscany (2013), à San Art – Hô-Chi-Minh-Ville Viêt-Nam (2014), et à Para Site Hong Kong (2014). Il a été un des commissaires de Dak’Art 2016 au Sénégal et il était l’un des commissaires d’exposition résidents de l’ICI en 2014 au Sénégal où il a travaillé sur la manière dont les mécanismes de financement dans la culture ainsi que les aides institutionnelles utilisent encore les structures du pouvoir mises en place par les lois coloniales.