Incarnation Park

Incarnation Park

Venue Art Park
Discipline Public Arts
Project by Diptej Vernekar

Date 15 Dec | 16 Dec | 17 Dec | 18 Dec | 19 Dec | 20 Dec | 21 Dec | 22 Dec | 23 Dec
Time 12:00 pm - 12:00 am

I grew up in the small village of Kumbhajua, Goa, known for various moving artforms in the style of tableaux, like moving Narkasur idols, Chitrarath (part of the Shigmotsav parade), and Chitras (paper sculptures) that are part of Ganesh Chaturthi and Sangodotsav celebrations. These mythological artifacts, visible during different festivals and made mostly by men, are then preserved for the rest of the year so they can be reused in the following festive season. Created as they are by local communities comprising artisans and technicians, I see these moving tableaux as capable of yielding a parallel art education that helps these communities nurture their craft and expertise.
 
I have always been curious about the way these artifacts and avatars (incarnations) move. What is the technology involved in moving them? These processes often rely on a manual mechanism wherein at least 20 people (mostly men) are underneath or behind the moving objects. It involves muscle energy, akin to gymnasium activities that the general public cannot always access. 
 
This installation subverts the gendered nature of the process of moving these artifacts by making it accessible to the general public, as an outdoor gym of incarnations. Through this intervention, I hope to illustrate the idea of an outdoor gym as the cultivator of an urban ethos and as a mechanism to open up access to various living craft traditions and the local technologies behind them. This project also seeks to explore the fun and quirky element of these local artifacts in real time, by turning the outdoor gym into an interactive experience, offering a commentary on the design of public parks.  
 
Incarnation Park is a collaboration between local artists with whom I have worked for years, and art students who hail from these communities and work with these skill sets. Most of the elements that went into the construction of this mechanical intervention, are borrowed from different localities and developed in collaboration with local innovators from a Nagrik Samitee.

Venue: 'Promenade', Art Park
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