LIVE ART 2011, Bangalore, was an idea nurtured with passion, necessity and impulse. It began with the idea of an Indo-Swiss Performance Art Exchange with Smitha Cariappa as the chief organizer and artistic director/curator from India and Dorothea Rust and Monica Klingler from Switzerland as the co-curators. In the course of 9 months LIVE ART 2011 decided to become an International Performance Art Event. In addition to artists from India and Switzerland, Smitha Cariappa invited artists from Israel and South and East Asia. The criteria for the selection of the artists was their contribution to the field of Performance art in their respective cities/countries, The invitees also included young artists who had not participated in a Performance Art event in the city of Bangalore.
Often in performance art, the city, its environment and culture have to be open and ready to accept what can be seen, to be a strange and unconventional art form. It can be seen in the most mundane. The performer can be a carrier of ideas, messages, materials, stories, poetry etc., but it will be his/her ever present, body and spirit, in the particular moment, that became for me the essence of the performance. That presence points out the gap that lies between the performer, the elements of performance and audience as a zone of inspiration.
In my experience, reaching this stage of allowing emptiness to exist in an art action demands more efforts, trust and a deep sense of freedom from both, artist and audience, as much as an ultimate responsibility and honesty from the artist. Well, yes, a kind of utopia or ideal. Therefore performance art, becomes to exist in the constant search for different ways to getting closer to this perfect utopia but to avoiding reaching it.
The approach in LIVE ART 2011, was to create a warm, interactive, energetic and responsive environment during a period of 15 days from 11 to 25 November 2011. Artists’ presentation and talks, workshops and live performance formed a main part of the event.
The important segment of LIVE ART 2011 was the Dawn to Dusk event called ‘Open House’ held on November 15. It became a Performance Art Marathon from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. under the Richmond flyover, Mission road and Double road by first time performers. The goal of LIVE ART 2011, was to narrow the gap between the artist and audience and bring Performance Art to the common man on the streets, from the regular white cube space. The November 16 and 17 workshops held by Dorothea Rust and Monica Klingler, helped to kindle intense interaction between first-time performers, invited performers and the audience.
Things were kept open, intimate and with surprises, with the hope of discovering new artistic expressions and having close discussions. The other objectives are bridging the gap between artists and the audience and questioning performance art studies, documentation and archives.