In the West, early performance art marked a return to the body in response to minimalism and abstraction. In the India, however, where figuration was never completely lost to pure abstraction, the body receives renewed significance through the dialogic ability of performance based art, whether it immerses the audience within the work or by means of their relational encounter with the social space of the performance. In this context, performance art necessitates an engagement with actions by the artist(s), which receives meaning only in the presence of an audience, whether it is live or lies at the interface of different media such as film, photograph, social media or audio recording.

When the passive consumption of shock packaged as click-bait, or the condition of being at the receiving end of the State’s propaganda machine permeates everyday experience, how can art extend the limits of affect and encounter to meaning making? How can performance artists ensure that their work is not reduced to subversion for its own sake? The answer does not lie in mass address vis-à-vis traditional media or perhaps even language (except for utterances and sentences that can never end) that has arguably collapsed and ensconced itself into sloganeering and counter-sloganeering — for every sentence that has a beginning and an end does not escape ideological closure. The discursive potential of performance art escapes this predicament and has the dialogic capacity to lend perceptibility to immaterial social relations that bind together diverse publics within the contingent space of the work. Consequently it is able to unravel the assumed singularity of majoritarian politics and passive consumption. It also has a unique capacity to extend the immediacy of affect traditionally supported by an artwork and sustain it until the audience shakes out of their state of encounter to assume a participatory role, forming unique, meaningful associations with each act. 

This workshop will be an exploration of these ideas, and consider how meaningful, dialogic action can inform the making of a work to subvert the information landscape of our times.


About the Artists

Damini Parashar

Damini Parashar's work revolves around the idea of the body, gaze and normalising the struggle of the everyday. The works are attempts to engage with the fringes of language- the interstitial spaces where the reified, the banal, the phenomenological and the performative coexist. On one hand, she uses performative drawings as a medium to explore the structural and phenomenological dimensions of artistic practices and on the other hand, she uses a calibrated staging of ideas and objects through modes of installation art to tell stories. 

She has completed her ​BFA from MSU Faculty of Fine Arts (2015) and MA in Visual Art Practice from  Ambedkar University Delhi (2018)

Khursheed Ahmad

Khursheed is a visual artist whose Bhand upbringing forms the core of his art. He draws on performance, text, photography, sound, and drawings to merge the traditional outlook and contemporary art practices to make a relevant intervention as a Bhand artist.

Meet Narang

Meet Narang is a practising Visual Artist working in Delhi.  He has exhibited and showed his work with different galleries and has attended few residencies like Pepper House Residency, Shrine Empire, Kochi Biennial, latitude 28, Gallery Onkalf, Art Explore, All India Fine Art Society,

Salman Bashir Baba

Salman Bashir Baba is an interdisciplinary artist from Kashmir. His practice explores the concepts of memory, identity, conflict and power. Through his work he ponders over the liminal spaces that exist between, being and nonbeing, life and death in conflict ridden zones. He is interested in understanding the possibilities of human life in these liminal spaces. While he primarily creates drawings and installations, his also employs a variety of media and materials, such as coding, performance, sculpture, embroidery on shroud, found audio, video footages, photographs, drawn maps, scent, etc. in his performances and installations.

Salman recently completed his MA in Visual Arts from Ambedkar University, New Delhi and BA in Applied Arts from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He has participated in various art workshops and events. He has recently organised a workshop cum interaction programme for young artists with Yusmarg Collective in Kashmir.