Interruption was a collaborative project by Cardiff Dance Festival (CDF17) and Basement 21 - a group of contemporary creative artists based in Chennai in India - that brought together individual artists from India and Wales in a series of public residencies in Cardiff and performances at Cardiff Dance Festival 2017. As an act, interruption is the act of fragmenting the flow of the current, the present, before it becomes history. It assumes that totalising forces are at work in the very present itself. By proposing the idea of ‘interruption’, we are urging people to resist any complacent joining of dots that concern society, institution, culture or identity.
On a research visit to Cardiff, Basement 21 identified several city centre spaces, including the Central Market, Atrium, University of South Wales and the Cardiff Central Library around which to trigger interruptions through installations and performances. The performances were in public spaces which are not traditionally used for presenting arts.
Basement 21 practitioners, the choreographers Padmini Chettur and Preethi Athreya and musician/composer Maarten Visser along with Pravin Kannanur were resident in Cardiff from late October 2017 and for the duration of the Cardiff Dance Festival. During this time they worked closely with four creative professionals from Wales to share and explore practice, and to improvise and develop work. The joint explorations were cross-disciplinary and culminated in various elements of public performance, including a performance at the Cardiff Dance Festival on 17 November 2017.
Haram Me, 2012
Haram Me is an art installation that confronts the viewer with multiple mirror images of itself in the form of paintings, reproductions of paintings as paintings, installation of text and image. The preoccupation of these works is not primarily aesthetic. The material used is deliberately cheap and perishable, packaged in shiny acrylic for immortality.
Can art, have the power to question its engagement purely in the realm of the aesthetic auto-biographical?
The artist paints himself looking at his alter ego subject, the pig, which is looking at him painting it and thus the mirror continues. The artist seems to think “I am no longer a camera, I am a photocopier.” It comments on a society that is sold on a barrage of images that are constantly produced, consumed and recycled.
An intensely self-critical work, albeit with a sense of humour, Haram Me comments on the condition of the artist as well as the conditions of art-making itself.
Studio Safdar Public Art Project, 2012
Jana Natya Manch ( Janam ) and Studio Safdar commissioned this mural as part of their public art outreach. Named after Safdar Hashmi (1954-1989), one of Janam's founder members, Studio Safdar is a space set up to foster and encourage art among the people.
A large number of people worked with Pravin on this, including many Janam members, local residents, a cycle-rickshaw driver, and a master painter, Lallan. Over three weeks in the summer of 2012 they worked on the outside walls of the theatre space Studio Safdar and the adjacent May Day Bookstore and Café, Shadi Khampur.
On the 25th July, 2012, Pravin Kannanur and his team of artists publicly 'signed' the work, this was followed by a discussion on public art and murals, entitled 'Locating the Work'.