Amitesh Grover’s project proposal A Performapedia questions the notion of an archive based on objects and explores how we look at those forms of knowledge that are not embraced by modern archival strategies. The modern archive conventionally relies upon documents, art objects and photographs to build on history. Eventually, these objects themselves become the ‘historical’ – with the photograph bearing the strongest claim to the ‘real’. Amitesh Grover is interested in whether we are at all able to extrapolate the ideas, concepts and historical narratives that are often considered to be intrinsic to art objects. He suggests to approach these questions through the performative.
“I have a deep interest in the ‘knowledge of the everyday’. I notice that there are forms of knowledge that are activated into being only by the performative. These forms that take the shape of activity – sleeping, walking, mourning, retelling, remembering, forgetting, holding, circulating, and so on. They embrace in themselves an entire universe of philosophies, rituals, and taboos that are brought into play only when the performative itself is activated.”
For A Performapedia, Amitesh Grover will attempt to excavate the knowledge in gestures and to trace the shifting shape of the archive itself. In a performative moment, the claim to truth is created during the instant of confrontation, its ‘truths’ being predicated on transience. The ‘history’ being created in Grover’s archive is always endemically mutating. The viewer, not the object, is the site of conflicting material and cognitive agenda, capable of registering affects. Potentially, the viewer is the actual piece of art.
Amitesh Grover’s practice has evolved to work across mediums, genres and disciplines. He curates crowd-art, evolves performance-formats, builds interactive installations, directs and fluxes media. He collaborates with diverse experts, such as curators, scientists, philosophers, hackers, gamers, artists, stock-brokers and cleaners. For his tutorial event On Mourning, he worked with a professional traditional mourner on sharing and further developing her ritual performance. This mining of ‘specialized’ knowledge is also one aspect of Downtime – A Performapedia on Sleep, in which viewers are invited to participate in carefully curated sleep events, with experts such as sleep-scientists, sleep-historians, homeless-sleepers, robotics-researchers, sound-artists, writers-on-sleep, sleep therapists and software programmers, who respond to a set of philosophical and scientific provocations, trying out narrative formats and conjuring a reflection of our globalized world.
Amitesh Grover is an artist and curator living in New Delhi. Have a look at other projects mentioned in his portfolio at amiteshgrover.com.
Photos: Amitesh Grover