A screenplay, based on the leaked phone conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with various public personalties, by artist collective CAMP, finds itself in shortlist for Rs 10 lakh Skoda Art Prize 2012.

The artwork titled “Pal, Pal, Pal, Pal...” is a formal response to the “leaks”, through a treatment of the Radia tapes as a screenplay accompanied by an audio guide, according to the Mumbai-based artist group CAMP, which had exhibited it at their first ever solo exhibition in the country.

The two-part exhibition “Two Stages of Invention,” was hosted at Kolkata’s Experimenter Gallery.

Founded in Mumbai, in 2007, by Shaina Anand, Sanjay Bhangar and Ashok Sukumaran and Zinnia Ambapardiwala, CAMP is a group initiative around art, media and technology practices.

“The lobbyist is a rhetorician-in-private, group persuader and network player. When her government-tapped phone conversations leaked, they became short-lived scandals and TV bytes. In the archive, they provoke longer listening and deep analysis,” says CAMP, which has used spiral bound notebooks and wall mounted transcripts of tapes to display the artwork.

Moreover, viewers of the exhibition could also dial into analogue telephones choose any “act” from the screenplay and listen to the relevant sections of the tapes.

The second part of CAMP’s exhibition is about Folkestone on the English Channel where volunteer guards filmed the sea through their telescopes for over a year.

CAMP is one of the four artists shortlisted for the third edition of the Skoda Art Prize that is scheduled to be announced in February next year.

Shilpa Gupta, Srinivasa Prasad and L.N. Tallur are the other artists shortlisted for the award on their basis of solo shows presented in India over the last one year.

The jury panel chaired by art historian and critic Geeta Kapur includes Anupam Poddar, co-founder of the Devi Art Foundation, leading Indian artist Sheela Gowda and Mirjam Varadinis, a Swiss-based art historian, curator and writer.

Girsh Shahane, art critic, and director — Art for The Skoda Prize said, “The jurors viewed and discussed the 20 shows in the longlist for six hours but in the end they could not narrow the strong field down to three, and decided to include four exhibitions in the shortlist. That indicates the exceptional strength of this year’s entries.”

Shilpa Gupta’s show at Chemould Prescott Road, “Someone Else” is made up of works from different series and made over the past few years. All her works explore ideas of control, individual agency, fear and censorship.

In his show “Nirantara”, shown by Bangalore’s Gallery SKE artist Srinivasa Prasad’s has explored idea of home as residence, refuge, physical location, and as the emotional state of seeking a place for solace and comfort.

(This article was published on November 16, 2012)
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