City’s encounter with experimental art to explore its relationship with land | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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City’s encounter with experimental art to explore its relationship with land

At Azad Maidan, artist Mansi Bhatt will dig a ditch lie down in it and invite people to cover her with soil.

mumbai Updated: Jan 08, 2012 01:03 IST
Riddhi Doshi

At Azad Maidan, artist Mansi Bhatt will dig a ditch lie down in it and invite people to cover her with soil.

At Mantralaya, artist Tushar Joag will begin a mock baraat or wedding procession to Fort, carrying earth from various locations in the city, each bearing its current price tag.

In Mankhurd, artist Sharmila Samant will create a vegetable garden in a slum, with the help of slumdwellers.

These performances and six others are part of a public art project titled ‘[en]counters — land mine’, jointly organised by ArtOxygen, an organisation that promotes art, and educational organisation Mohile Parikh Centre till January 14.

The project deals with various land issues in Mumbai, including the misuse of open spaces, redevelopment and reclamation, the history of land in Mumbai, the disparity of space distribution in the city, and the role of the builder in taking land out of the reach of the common Mumbaiite.

The project will use experimental art — in the form of performances in public spaces across the city — to make a powerful statement.

“The project aims to show people in the city that art is not just paintings and sculptures. It can also be live and experimental,” said project curator Claudio Mafio.

Impact and audience reaction are key factors, making experimental art a very interactive form, said artist Mansi Bhatt.

In Mumbai, where owning a home is a distant fantasy for most, this experimental art project is even more likely to strike a chord. “Maybe something concrete will come of this project… or maybe not,” said Mafio. “What is important is to perform in public spaces and get people’s attention.”