In 2010, Taiwanese artist Yao Jui-Chung met Fine Arts students from Taipei National University of the Arts and National Taiwan Normal University. He posed a question to them — did they want him to talk on a topic like every other teacher or would they be interested in carrying out a “mosquito hall” investigation? Fifty students from the two universities signed up to search for museums and other structures constructed during the modernising of the city but now lay abandoned.
Across 100 locations, buildings colloquially called “mosquito halls” were identified and the classroom assignment turned into an exhibition “Mirage: Disused Public Property in Taiwan”.
The project attracted the attention of the Taiwanese government. Top officials advised the concerned departments to revive all “mosquito halls” within a year or demolish them. “This project was meant to put pressure on the government and bring about changes in official policies, thus serving as a successful case of art intervention in society,” says Jui-Chung. The exhibition comes to the Capital as part of INSERT2014 and is on display at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University.
INSERT2014 is a month-long confluence of conversations by international experts, exhibits, symposiums and site specific exhibition at cultural sites across Delhi. With Raqs Media Collective serving as its “artistic directors” and curators, the highlights include an exhibition that will open on January 31 at Mati Ghar, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and will mark the presence of works by 20 internationally acclaimed artists including Kendell Geers, Gauri Gill and Ivana Franke. “The concept is around time and space, to understand the world through contemporary art in public domain,” says Jeebesh Bagchi of Raqs Media Collective, “Indian artists have been travelling around the world and have shown their works at prestigious museums but the same has not been reciprocated and there are few international artworks on display here. INSERT is an attempt to bring in international traffic.”
Another highlight is Last Minute Exercise by Berlin-based cultural producer Hannah Hurtzig. It will have viewers interact one-on-one with specialists from the fields of biology, medicine, philosophy, religious studies, forensics, art and anthropology on different theories and scientific reasons on the time of death.
For details, visit insert2014.in
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