GUWAHATI RESEARCH PROGRAM
Good Horn, Good Brakes, Good Luck
Serra dei Giardini, Venice
The exhibition showed the research made in the city of Guwahati in Assam, India, by 7 artists based in Venice during the period 2011-2015.
It opened at the Greenhouse of the Biennale Gardens (Serra dei Giardini) on August 9th 2015 and closed the 22nd of November 2015.
The city of Guwahati is the capital of Assam, it is also the largest metropolitan area in North-Eastern India. It is said to be the "Gateway" of the North East region. The city is situated on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra river, a trans-boundary river and one of the major rivers of Asia. Guwahati is a major commercial and educational center of North-East India and is the third fastest growing city in India. There is a fair amount of ethnic and religious diversity in Guwahati, but also relating to these diversities the city has been plagued by terrorism and insurgency in recent years.
The project started as a collaboration between Microclima from Venice and Periferry by the Desire Machine Collective.
The residency is developed outside of the art institution frameworks and is based on the investigation of the city of Guwahati, its surrounding area and its cultural peculiarities.
It has been asked of the artists to concentrate on the investigation with the intent to develop on site initiatives and cultural exchanges.
The first intervention by William West & Paolo Rosso, which is in the exhibition, also has the function of a key for the artists to enter into the context of the area.
The title of the exibition comes from a popular motto connected to the safety programs that exist to counter the dangerous traffic situations.
In GOOD HORN, GOOD BRAKES, GOOD LUCK
you can see projects by Riccardo Banfi, Mario Ciaramitaro, Martino Genchi, Alessandra Messali, Matteo Stocco & Matteo Primiterra, William West.
I found myself in Guwahati
"The two images shown are taken from the following series. “I found myself in Guwahati” is a visual diary of my experience of Guwahati. The images were taken without considering a subject or a specic cultural expression. Similar in some respects to my previous work which has mainly concentrated on the study of the Western nightclub music culture, here the subjects portrayed in the images are contrasted between festive occasions such as weddings, the only nightclub in the town and the Republic Day celebrations and images of their urban and rural surroundings."
In a few minutes we are on the infernal ring roadof Kolkata. An incredible pile, compact and unstable of cars, bicycles, rickshaws, walking men and women, trucks, animals, buses and motorcycles. The sides of the road runs around. Shops, houses under construction, elds surrounded by huge billboards that extend one after the other in a luminous continuous line.
Small huts with vendors, people who wash in puddles, children, dogs and parked motorbikes. At one point there are enormous pipes, who knows how long they have been there at the foot of black trees. Everything ows beside us alternating in a warped composition for more than an hour of linear illogicality. All is immersed in the smog, car lights project themselves as eerie spotlights, theatrical and dramatic in the backlight of
endless oating shapes.
ll Bramino dell’Assam
Emilio Salgari (Verona 1862, Torino 1911) was a popular Italian writer although wrote more than 200 adventure stories set in exotic locations,never travelled outside of Italy, gaining inspiration through foreign literature, newspapers, travel magazines and encyclopedias. In 1911 Emilio Salgari published a book (The false Brahman) set in Guwahati, at that time under British colonial rule. The Bramino dell’Assam project translates the book into the Assamese language and the contents into a theatre play. The scenery, the costumes and the script will be drawn from the books, focusing on the incongruity between
text and context. The show
Matteo Primiterra e Matteo Stocco
The title is taken from a misinterpretation of an often heard word cited by the children of the village of Rajadwar. The video installation shows some of the contradictions of the city, with its territory divided by the Brahamaputra river (second in size after the Ganges). The people themselves also live according to their own dualism, generated from the uncontrolled growth that contrasts to the strongly settled traditions of an ancient culture.
Guwahati Bamboo Walkway
Paolo Rosso e William West
The Guwahati Bamboo Walkway can been found on the North bank of the Brahmaputra river across from the city of Guwahati, in the North East Indian state of Assam. Although its construction and development was begun in 2011, it does not have a set date for completion.
In pratical terms the Guwahati Bamboo Walkway functions as a means to arrive at the ferry terminal of North Guwahati from the village of Anandanager.
It will also function as a means to view the mighty river Brahmaputra, oering a place of
contemplation that can redene the vision of this rural area.
Through its construction it also functions as a means for people of dierent cultures to share those dierences together. The term Guwahati Bamboo Walkway refers not only to the actual walkway itself, but all cultural and social events that are inspired by it.
A strange darkness
"During the period in which I was in Guwahati, the heavy air, the sounds of the city, the neighbours, seemed to be there to compose a kind of dispersed story. In 2013 these elements were rearranged in a temporary installation made by three road signs describing a fictional character in his daily exploration of the city. Adding this
layer of narrative to the neighbourhood gave it an unfamiliar aspect.
A Strange Darkness, 2015, is the development of an idea of a narrative intervention in the public space. The phrase is designed to be inserted into the urban context as a fragment of a bigger story, opened and revised by the people passing by. In
its variable sizes, from stickers to billboards, this narrative will travel in diverse situations,
becoming a portal connecting different places and diverse people.
The project is intended to be further developed and installed in Guwahati during 2016."
Photo: Riccardo Banfi, 2015.
Photo: Riccardo Banfi, 2015.
Photo: Riccardo Banfi, 2015.
Photos: Riccardo Banfi, 2015.