Santaran turns 12
It is rare for an art event to be all-encompassing so that the participating artists get to take free-hand at cotemporary methods and trends; it is even rarer for dialogues to take place between divergent fields of discipline. Santaran's twelve-year celebration programme 2011, was one among a few which provided a platform for artists interested to work across media to converge with proponents of other disciplines such as architecture, urban planning and anthropology and examine the possibilities of such union.
Primarily conceived as a site for participating multidisciplinary artists to formalize their concepts and ideas into sculptural installations, performances as well as multimedia expressions, the event was an occasion for its organizers to interface mainstream art practices with urban, cultural and environmental issues.
Santaran is a Chittagong-based artists'-run non-profit organization which has been active in the field of art since 1999, and is working with a view to promoting performativity and interactivity in art by emphasizing location-specific cultural practises and by revitalizing the art scene through contemporary strategies and methods. As part of their socially motivated activities, the organization is also engaged in outreach programmes aimed at the masses often engaging with the popular discourses and cultural currents that are considered peripheral in the mainstream narrative.
In the last 12 years, they have hosted workshops, public art events, seminars and exhibitions and similar ancillary events adjunct to the regular programmes they run across the region to benefit children and the environment.
In the five-day celebration of the 12th anniversary, alongside other interdisciplinary programmes, Santaran played host to an exhibition where 17 multidisciplinary artists were asked to install their works. It is an event to which some responded by bringing in their recently-done works, while others created new ones for the occasion exploring mediums ranging from video installation to multi-dimensional, interactive projects of experimental nature. If most participants have transmitted impulses that we are already familiar with, their use of materials and the linguistic and mythical references that characterized their works, were ways for some to traverse along the avenues less travelled by.
- DEPART DESK