Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 presents a public art exhibition titled Navigation is Offline

Bhubaneswar: In an initiative to enhance the aesthetic value of the city through various art practices Bhubaneswar Art Trail 2018 Project Team in collaboration with Odisha Tourism, Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, and Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd announced the inauguration of its art event Bhubaneswar Art Trail (BAT) on 18th November,2018 today in the presence of eminent persons including, Aadish Nargunde, Representative, BDA & BMC, Utpal Pati, Deputy Director Odisha Tourism, Sidhartha Mohanty Director MGM Group, Charudutta Panigrahi Founder FIDR, Suvasish Patnaik, Community leader of BAT and Jagannath Panda & Premjish Achari, Curator, BAT.

Stripped to its essentials, the art event is an attempt to unravel the multiple narratives which form the collective identity, history and culture of Bhubaneswar, the historic capital city of Odisha. A paramount objective of this interactive public art project is to involve the community and artists (both local and from outside India) in order to understand how we imagine, remember and celebrate a city like Bhubaneswar through their memories, imaginations and aspirations.

Bhubaneswar Art Trail is an artistic vision for the city which is now transforming and aspiring to become one of the best cities in the world. Through contemporary public art we are not only making artistic interventions in public and private spaces, we are also presenting a unique vision to create art involving the community, how to teach and learn art, and the important role of art in the creative growth of the community. Our vision is to bring artists from different parts of the world and use public art as a vector to understand the history, memory and various narratives of the Old Town. This public art exhibition will also feature various outreach activities which will activate the cultural spaces of Bhubaneswar. These include a one-day colloquium with prominent artists, curators, art writers, film festival by National Film Archive of India, various talks by prominent film makers, writers, historians, etc., hands-on art workshop for children by Art1st Foundation, eco-printing workshop, and various classical and folk performances.

This project is located in a trail of 1.3 km in Bhubaneswar. The street houses important medieval monuments, contemporary architecture, schools, shops, public institutions etc. Artists will explore these edifices from different time periods and interact with the community to record not only their memories but also their dreams and yearnings about the city.

The theme of this edition is ‘Navigation is Offline’ and is curated by Jagannath Panda and Premjish Achari. The title of this curatorial proposal refers to the contemporary technology-driven societies’ overreliance on navigational technologies to identify, access and reach destinations. We look at the world through our cameras and our world has reduced to flat images which are uploaded, liked and shared in social media. Scholars have noticed how ‘screens at once provide (the screen as window onto the world) and prohibit (the screen as buffer or barrier) access to our global social, political and economic realities’. It affects and conditions our understanding of the world.

This project is an attempt to address this issue in our contemporary life. We are attempting to understand the memories, stories, tales and the history associated with the people living around this short trail. We as travelers will chronicle its biography. While being in this trail we will retell tales of our own journeys while also listening to the new tales from Bhubaneswar.

Bhubaneswar Art Trail is organised by Utsha Foundation for Contemporary Art in collaboration with Odisha Tourism, Bhubaneswar Development Authority, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, and Bhubaneswar Smart City Ltd.

Supported by National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), MGM Group, Falcon Real Estate, SNM Group, IDCO, and Rungta Mining Corporation.


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