Culture Monks India
The collaboration with Culture Monks India in Kolkata has a particular relevance to Wilfried, because it was Sudipta Dawn, in change of this cultural organisation, who invited Wilfried to continue collaborating in 2017, after Wilfried was participating with a curated program one year before 2016 in MOMENTUM – experimental art festival ar RANGE Gallery in Kolkata.
The disastrous effects of the comprehensive paralyzis caused by his heavy accident in January 2017, Wilfried identified as the beginning of his own end. During all the years since 2000 and the diverse surviving challenges, for Wilfried it had always been essential to keep his self-determined life, but the accident injuries were partially incurable and Wilfried was really close to the moment to loose this self-determination. It was this invitation in spring 2017 to collaborate and re-activate his curatorial activities, motivating Wilfried to continue, at all – life. Like in 1998 he gave up and fell into a coma due to the previous traumatizations, in 2017 it was his nearly hopeless physical condition making Wilfried prepare his own end already mentally. But obvious the time wasn’t mature to leave, und Wilfried invested his slowly returning energy in order to realize his “The W:OW Project” – and in the framework of its realization in an exchange between virtual and physical space Culture Monks, respectively Sudipta Dawn kept playing a particular role.
Wilfried knows of course, that nobody likes when he is talking about these health conditions marking his life, but they determine Wilfried’s course of life not only on a private (invisible) level, but in the same way his life as a public person – by feeling that particular responsibility for all his public projects and the involved instances, like artists, curators institutions, festivals etc. For the non-initiated, Wilfried did only what he had done all the time before, nobody understood what Wilfried was talking about – and this way, nobody was taking his words seriously.
So, this article would like to thank Sudipta far away in India for being this motivation to continue!
Culture Monks is an interdisciplinary, cross cultural platform of artists, academicians & professionals, with diverse interest, practices, converging the intersection of art, culture & sustainability.
WOW Jubilee 2020 X Kolkata
Birla Academy of Art & Culture
Birla Academy of Art and Culture
SPEAKING GANDHIANA : Visual journeys of Gandhi@150 & beyond
an assemblage of cross-generational art and archival articulations
Dedicated to the Centenaries of Gandhi’s call for Non Co-operation movement and the Rowlatt Satygraha and Jallianwala Bagh massacre
16 October – 22 November 2020
Curated by Parnap Mukherjee
from FRIDAY- OCTOBER 16, 2020 (6:30 p.m onwards) to November 22, 2020
Exhibition will be open till November 22 (SUNDAY), 2020
3:00 p.m. – 8:00p.m. (closed on Mondays and from October 22 to 25, 30, 2020 and Diwali)
“I’m no prophet. My job is making windows where there were once walls.”― Michel Foucault
How do we imagine Gandhi@150 in terms of visual art?
Is it the materiality of the medium? Is it the subject? Is it the spirit of Gandhiji’s words? Is it photo-montage of Gandhi or Gandhian moments in our history of the world? Is it studying him through the works of contemporaries? Is it a visual tribute? Is it folk art and it’s evolution? Is it artistic understanding of satyagraha? Is it an archival spread of documents and manuscripts?
All these and more.
What is Swaraj?
Let’s examine an extract from Gandhiji’s Hind Swaraj:
Swaraj is when we learn to rule ourselves. It is therefore, in the palm of our hands. Do not consider this Swaraj to be just a dream. There is no idea of sitting still. The Swaraj which I wish to picture is that, after we have once realized it, we will endeavour to the end of our life-time to persuade others to act likewise. This Swaraj needs to be experienced, by each one of himself. One drowning man will never save another. Slave ourselves, it might be mere pretension to think, of saving others….
An exhibition concerning Gandhian articulations on visual art cannot be an exhibition either on Gandhi or on artists who lived during his time and were deeply influenced by hid political philosophy. Or for that matter merely exhibiting folk art.
Such an exhibition must operate as a complex act of viewing and experiencing. Beyond the dialectics of Nandalal Bose, Mukul Dey, Asit Haldar, E Venkatappa, Vinayak Masoji, Upendra Maharishi; Jo Davison, Clara Sherido, Felix Topolsky, Philip Jackson, Eduardo Kobra; S.H Raza, M. F Husain, Atul Dodiya, Jitesh Kallat, G.R Iranna and contemporaries; the pioneering works and layouts of Lucknow, Faizpur and Haripura Congress; timeless Gandhi photographs by Jagan Mehta, Kanu Gandhi, Margaret Bourke White, Walter Bosshard, Henri Cartier Bresson and Kulwant Roy; all of which and more are important artistic articulations and interventions ….a fresh juxtaposition is required with all that are mentioned above and more. Hence a look at Gandhi ‘s dialectics, praxis and dilemma, standing today will be a constant shifting gaze and a hard long stare at the same time.
The exhibition includes five distinct treatments. The archival documents of Shri G.D. Birla which illuminates different aspects of his relationship with Gandhi, a draft of Tagore’s landmark letter in his refusal to continue with the decoration of knighthood in the wake of Jallianwala Bagh massacre and some important literature on Gandhi.
Secondly, the BAAC collection which is a mix of diverse voices including A.H. Muller, Nandalal Bose, George Keyt, Abdul Rehman Chughtai, Walter Langhammer, Raja Ravi Verma, Elizabeth Brunner, Sass Brunner, Kshitindranth Majumder, Ramkinker Baij, S. Chavda, M.V Dhurandhar, Amina Kar, Isha Mahammad, Somnath Hore, Bikash Bhattacharjee, Antonio and Angela Trinidade, Asit Halder, G, R Santosh, B. Prabha, R. K. Chandrajit Singh, V. A Mali, Prabhash Sen, Piraji Sagara, A. Ramachandran, Sudhir
Patwardhan, K. Babu Namboodiri, Jiwan Singh, Julien Segard, Vivan Sundaram and Shailesh Bandopadhyay. These are carefully chosen voices from the collection and each of their work reflects the idea of bodies and people in socio-political dilemma, depiction of oral history through the medium, mythologies and rituals interwoven in our lives and the ideas of utopia and dystopia that often overlaps to warn us that there is always an invisible violence in our daily lives.
Thirdly, there are contemporary fresh aticulations for the exhibition: In the frames of Hiran Mitra’s march of the shadows in the sets of the play: The Plea; Ranjan Kaul’s paintings of figures and spaces or Baishampayan Saha’s fragmented photo-collage reiterates the dictum of Gandhi-Martin Luther King Jr-Mandela’s idea of reconciliation. There are exciting Gandhian interpretations by works executed by including Sunil Mody and Ranjit Kumar, Sanjeev Khandekar’s framing of the images talk about the debate between the internal schism versus liberation of self and Masood Hussain’s six canvases is a nuanced look at Bapu set in a contemporary time frame with an universal visual subtext.
Fourth aspect is a set of folk artists and their take on the art from. Putli Ganju from Sohrai art, Ranjan Paswan and his black and white treatments in Madhubani and Durgabai Vyom and her distinctive style within the ambit Gond Art. The fifth and the last aspect is a set of WOW selection of curated international video spread helmed by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne.
It is the violence and the non-violent oscillation of the reference points of the images that becomes both a duality/paradox/metaphor and an oxymoron at the same time. The images challenge the status quo. Looks at newness of hope. Looks at re-generation of spirit. Manufacturing an idea of protest which cannot kill love.
Our visual journey talks about the people’s idea of oneness..that inherent spirit of our times. It talks about digging deep into our roots/routes. The values that Bapu held so dear.
Birla Academy of Art & Culture Kolkata
Who we are
The Birla Academy of Art & Culture was established in 1967 with the principal objective of fostering the growth of art and culture with emphasis on visual and performing arts. In this time, the Academy has established itself as a centre of cultural, artistic and educational activities.
It all started when Sri & Smt B.K. Birla; foremost industrialists of India, had started collecting rare and valuable treasures of art out of their profound love for art & beauty. With a sizeable collection in place, it was decided that such veritable treasure troves of history should be accessible to all. A public Charitable Trust was created in 1962 with a view to collecting, preserving and exhibiting art objects for the public.
For accommodating the proposed institute, the present eleven storied building was completed in 1966 and it was formally inaugurated under the name “Birla Academy of Art & Culture” by Karan Singh in 1967. It is now one of the premier museums and art galleries of the country. It consists of spacious display-halls, necessary for full-fledged cultural centre of modern importance.
Facilities & Activities
The main activities of the Academy consist of :
Collecting, preserving and displaying museum objects
Hosting exhibitions of Indian and International Art objects
Organizing cultural performances
Educational programmes of varied nature
The museum of the Academy has a distinct character of its own and depicts the growth and development of Indian art from 1st century, B.C. till now. The museum houses works by many celebrated contemporary Indian artists as well as few fine specimens of modern western art. The Garden adjacent to the Academy is often used for open air expositions, art-fairs and cultural performances.
In order to unearth hidden and young talent, the Academy organizes All India Annual Exhibitions, one man shows, Group shows and Kala melas at regular intervals. In the field of performing arts, a cultural performance is organized once in a month.
The Academy is not only concerned about India’s glorious artistic past. It also promotes artistic activities and to help artists, the Academy lets out its 2nd and 4th floor Galleries including Auditorium to artists, art societies and cultural groups at a very nominal rent.
The Academy also holds Educational programmes, lectures, seminars, film shows, workshops and art appreciation classes. The Academy maintains an impressive library with a fine and eclectic collection of art books, journals and periodicals for public use.
Achievements & Successes
A distinctive achievement of the Academy has been the presentation of quite a few international exhibitions; of which the most memorable is the show of the outstanding French sculptor Rodin; a landmark exhibition for Calcutta. Other notable exhibits included the works of Henry Moore and the Graphics of Picasso. It has also hosted Russian festival shows, German Expressionist’s graphics, French designs and also American, Chinese and British porcelains.
With the active co-operation of Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the U.S.I.S. legendary American plays such as “Once upon a Mattress” and “Driving Miss Daisy” had been organized for the enjoyment of the people.
On an ending note, the Academy has also been enriched during the last 50 years by the continuous inflow of countless treasures.
Gandhi! – PPNRCD
PPNRCD – stands for “Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance – Civil Disobedience”
In short, these three methods are representing the essence of Mahatma Gandhi’s fight for the independence of India from the British Empire (15 August 1947).
During the global conflicts, at his time this was most unusual to propagate nonviolence instead of violence and war which was more popular in the uprising nationalism worldwide.
But Gandhi was successful, however, he was paying a very high price – he was assassinated like his likeminded follower Martin Luther King, while propagating nonviolence and, Nelson Mandela whose nonviolence finally succeeded only after he was sitting for decades in prison.
More than 150 years ago – on 2 October 1869, Mahatma Gandhi was born, he was assassinated on 10 January 1948.
What can Gandhi’s methods tell us today?
They haven’t lost anything of their explosive force, think of the current movements of climate change, social equality etc, when “war” and enforcing conflicts are again an option. There is no politician on Earth who does not speak of war currently!
While Gandhi’s achievements are representing the historical roots for later nonviolent political and social movements, the project would like to spotlight incidents taking place after Gandhi’s death driven by the spirit of non-violence and humanity, think of Martin Luther King’s equal rights movement, the peaceful revolution of the German Re-unification or the liberation from the Apartheit in South Africa, for instance, or current movements of climate change, or all the daily situations when people overcome conflicts via nonviolence.
The Birla Academy of Art & Culture Kolkata is planning between 16 October – 22 November 2020– an exhibition on occasion of the 151st anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
Invited to prepare a screening program of videos for the anniversary exhibition dealing with Gandhi’s maxims in a narrow or wider sense, Wilfried Agricola de Cologne initiated at The Wake Up! Memorial a new commemorative context, based on the new film collection, entitled; Gandhi – PPNRCD – Peaceful Protest – Nonviolent Resistance – Civic Disobedience, consisting of 30 artvideos, and selected 15 videos as a part of the exhibition context.
This screening program is realized in collaboration between The Birla Academy of Art and Culture Kolkata, Culture Monks India, The Best of Kolkata Campus and The Wake Up! Memorial, A Virtual Memorial Foundation, The New Museum of Networked Art and NewMediaFest2020 complemented and accompanied by the screening of the complete film collection @ ALPHABET at The New Museum of Networked Art online between 16 October and 31 December 2020 (end of NewMediaFest2020).
List of videos
Brancha Gautier (France) – Soldiers of Peace, 2020, 3:58
Marek Wasilewski (Poland) – Clarifications, 2020, 6:15
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – oaktown, 2020, 17:00
Vito Alfarano (Italy) – I Have A Dream, 2019, 11:30
Claudia Strohm (Germany) – The Woman, 2015, 9:08
Delphinus inspirations (USA) – Insurrectionists at Heart, 2020, 3:00
Kenji Kojima (Japan) – Gandhi Walks, 2020, 5:00
Yiotis Vrantzas (Greece) – Phone Call from Cairo, 2012, 5:00
Omar Robert Hamilton (Egypt) – The People Demand the Fall of the Regime, 2011, 4:00
Oliver Ressler (Austria) – We Are The Limits, 2019, 10:36
Dimitris Argyriou (Greece) – 5 Minutes Silence, 2018, 10:52
Ausin Sainz (Spain) – Peaceful Protest, 2020, 5:12
Sira & Laura Cabrera Díaz (Spain) – Revolutio, 2014, 6:20
Shahar Marcus (Israel – Seeds, 2012, 5:08
Fran Orallo (Spain) – Nuclear Pigeon, 2020, 1:00
Daniela Lucato (Italy) – My Name Is Sami, 2020, 3:49
Bankleer (Germany) – minority in majority , 2011, 4.30 min
Kuesti Fraun (Austria) – Tolerance, 2014, 1:00
Eda Emirdag (Turkey) – Last Dance, 2016, 1:56
Guilherme Bergamini (Brazil) – Plenitude, 2020, 5:00
Elisbeth Ross (Mexico) – MEMORY IN THE CITY, 2008, 4’34
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Souldpower, 2020, 15:00
William Peña Vega (Colombia) – Control, 2013, 3:45
Kaiser Nahas (Syria) – A Protest against internet Censorship in Turkey, 2014, 4:26
Daniel Djamo (Romania) – Untitled: Syria, 2011, 5:58
Ivar Veermae (Estonia) – Warm Up, 2010, 2:24
Hande Zerkin (Turkey) – Democracy, 2014, 2:34
Silvia De Gennaro (Italy) – The days of rage, 2011, 03:00
Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany) – Never Wake Up, 2016/2001, 3:35
WOW.27 / Tunisia
7-10 October 2019
WOW.26 / India 7.0
7 September 2019 in Kolkata/India
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
list of videos
Marcantonio Lunardi (Italy) – 370 New World, 2014, 5:07
Anna Garner (USA) – Sequential Interaction (USA), 2013, 1:54
Brit Bunkley (New Zealand) – Fleeced,2009, 4:22
Paul Turano (USA) – Toxic Red Sludge, 2010, 5:00
Ben Fox (UK) – Recent Tactile Nonsense, 2012, 2:17
Manuel Ferrer and Alena Mesarosova (Spain/Slovakia) – Irreal Time, 2012, 3:30
Diego de Los Campos (Uruguay) – Still Life, 2012, 2:28
Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – Paper, 2012, 5:00
Kristina Frank (Sweden) – Earth One Minute, 2013, 1:42
Javier Velasquez Cabrero (Spain) – My City a Bit Cleaner From Advertising, 2012, 6:00
Cinzia Sarto (Italy) – A Dirty Holiday, 2005, 7:00
Carolin Koss (Finland) – Plastic Child, 2016, 12:11
Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – Plastic, 2012, 5:00
Liu Wei (China) – Hopeless Land, 2009, 7:28
running time 90 minutes
artvideoKOELN in collaboration with CultureMonks India
WOW children @ Kolkata –
@ Alliance française du Bengale Kolkata/India – 10 November 2018
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
list of videos
Soumendra Padhi (India) – Time to Run, 2010, 2:52
David Clark (UK) – Odd Jobs, 2010, 4:16
Ezra Wube (Ethiopia) – Hisab, 2011, 7:56
Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – Cape Mongo – Plastic, 2015, 5:00
Machia & Lolina (Italy)) – Chamelion Seeking Colour, 2015, 7:40
Shaun O’ Connor (Ireland) – Exit: Pursued By A Bear: “Amédée”, 2010, 4:17
Yufeng Li (China) – Cellular Romance, 2013, 2:21
Kianoush & Farnoush Abedi (Iran) – Irreversible, 2012, 6:50
Gabriel Shalom (USA) – Small Room Tango, 2004, 2:30
21 January 2018
TransArt 2 – Kolkata/India
WOW.12 / India 5.0
Curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Wrik Mead (Canada) – Outcognito, 2017, 5:00
Yao Kong (China) -B ²EAU²T²Y, 2014, 15’30”
Lisa Birke (Canada) – Endgame, 2016, 7:05
Francesca Leoni (Italy) – Ego- Crazia ( Chapter 1), 2016, 8’20”
Ronnie Sluik (Netherlands) – ronnie s likes to know, 2017, 1’13
Curated by Simo Saarikoski for Videokanava Tampere
Linda Jasmin Mayer (Finland) – ”Dove Fermarsi? (Where to Stop?)”, 2017, 6:45
Liisa Ahola & Veera Salmio (Finland) – ”Dictator”, 2017, 3:10
Anna Knappe(Finland) – ”Camp Europe”, 2017, 6:45
Taina Valkonen (Finland)- ”Forest Poem”, 2017, 1:13
Veera Nelimarkka (Finland) – ”Medical Record”, 2017, 3:55
Sabotanic Garden (Finland) – ”Uuno Turhabuto/King of Dance vol.2”, 2007, 8:16
artvideoKOELN & The New Museum of Networked Art
are happy to present
in collaboration with “culture monks”
on 23 September 2017 in Kolkata
WOW India 3.0
video selection curated by Erick Tapia
Sergio Hibrain Bañuelos (Mexico) – San Pedro: el Libre / 2015 / 8:51 / México
Adán Salvatierra (Mexico) – Narké / 2015 / 3:15 / México
Juan Pablo Romo Álvarez (Mexico) – Postdata / 2016 / 7:00 / México.
Erick Tapia (Mexico) – TERRITORIUM / 2016 / 3:00 / México
Julio Valdez (Mexico) – Sickness / 2016 / 7:00 /México
video selection curated by Roland Wegerer
WIDRICH Virgil (Austria) – make/real, 2010 / 5min
HAFNER Daniel and Matthias (Austria) – MODERN MAN, 2014 / 5:44min
KRAMER Elisabeth (Austria) – “the magi”, 2017 / 1:30 min
SWOBODA Katharina (Austria) – Pelzvogelkasten, 2015 / 4:05min
KREINECKER Evelyn (Austria) – Flucht (Flight), 2015 / 2:38min
KANTER Eginhartz (Austria) – Aufstieg (Rise), 2016 / 3:11min
CologneOFF 2017 India II
@ # videoGination aRt xiBition
28 April 2017 – Alliance Francaise du Bengale / Kolkata/India
5-7 May 2017 – Dharamsala/India
Thanks to CultureMonks India & Sudipta Dawn
WOW.03 / India
W:OW Art Film & Video Festival
(We Are One World // Art Film & Video Festival)
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Olga Ozieranska (Poland) – We will fail, 2015, 4’22”
Ninfa Sánchez & Karen Vilchis (Mexico) – Absence – Breve Ausencia, 2014, 5′ 35”
Francois Knoetze (South Africa) – CAPE MONGO – PAPER, 2015, 5:00
Ausin Sainz (Spain) – 3 2, 1 Liberty, 2015, 4:44
Gabriele Stellbaum (Deutschland) – “ill-timed moments”, 2013, 3:20
Francesca Lolli (Italy) – The last day of humanity , 2014, 01:49
curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne
Anca Bucur (Romania) – The confession of an aphasic writer, 2014, 3’31”
Gregg Biermann (USA) – Iterations, 2014, 5:37
Machia & Lolina (UK) – Chamelion Seeking Colour, 2015, 7’ 40″
Emil Zenko & Evgenij Romashov (Belarus) – Maslenitsa, 2015, 2:28
Valerio DE BONIS (Italy) – “I would claw my eyes out”, 2015, 9:00
Francesca Fini (Italy) – Virus, 2012, 5:00
curated by Ynin Shillo
Shahar Marcus (Israel ) – Seeds, 2012, 5:03
Moshe Vollach – 31 Cubes, 2013/2016, 4:00
Ynin Shillo – War, 2014, 4:20
Regev Amrani -Fathers, 2015, 1:50
Aya Nitzan – Gun Barrel Track Gaze, 2016, 2:54
Natali Issahary – Dune, 2016, 4:24
Netzaket Ekici & Shahar Marcus – Fossiles, 2014, 12:49
Momentum – experimental arts festival
@ Range Art Gallery – Kolkata/India
1-3 April 2016
“Unlimited Time – Limited Space
curated by Agricola de Cologne
List of videos
Sai Hua Kuan (Singapore) – Space Dawing No.5, 2009, 1:02
Alexander Callsen (Germany) – Gap Camp, 2013, 6:04
Gabriel Hosovsky (Slovakia) – Miscellany VIII, 2013, 5:14´´
Signe Chiper-Lillemark (Denmark) – Spaces, 2010, 6:31
Sinem Serap Duran (Turkey) – Adequate, 2012, 9:11
Todd Fuller (Australia) – One and only, 2012, 3: 54
Renata Gaspar & Marcin Dudek (Poland) – Axis, 2010, 3:07
Daniel Lo Iacono (Germany) – Digital Snapshots, 2003, 2:30
Yuval Yairi & Zohar Kawaharada (Israel) – Land, 2013, 4:36
Beate Hecher/Markus Keim (Austria) – ln Absentia, 2012, 10:00
Michael Murnau (UK) – Hanging On Me, 2012, 7:26
Yuriy Kruchak, Yulia Kostereva (Ukraine) – The 7th of November, 2009, 3:36
Nouran Sherif & Muhammad Taymour (Egypt) – Home, 2013, 8:13
My Name is Scot (Canada) – Independance, 2011, 7:56