Project 560 is an artistic quest initiated by India Foundation for the Arts, to recode the city of Bangalore through performances.
This special initiative comes from our desire to engage with a city that has nurtured and supported us for two decades. The idea was to encourage artists to creatively engage with non-proscenium found spaces in Bangalore, reimagine them, and bring them alive through performance. The event features a series of conversations with artists from Bangalore who received grants from IFA for their projects; a panel discussion with experts from the field; and multi-disciplinary performances and installations, across the city.
As the selection process for Project 560, we sent out a call for applications, inviting proposals from musicians, dancers, theatre practitioners, puppeteers, storytellers, poets, writers, or visual artists who wanted to create a performance in Bangalore. We further invited a panel of four experts to evaluate these proposals and select six projects, which then received support from IFA, each to a maximum value of Rs 2.5 lakhs, including production costs.
Over the course of the next few months, these projects developed into performances that were showcased at the Project 560 festival, held in the latter half of 2014.
We shared the call for applications for Project 560 on December 5, 2013. The deadline for receipt of applications was January 31, 2014. We received a total of 23 proposals. Of these, we shortlisted 16 proposals for review by an external panel. Our panel consisted of four experts:
On the basis of their recommendations, we made grants to six Bangalore-based artists/ artist groups.
Rangasiri: To create a theatre performance around the Kempegowda tower located in Mekhri circle. The tower, constructed by Kempegowda II, the grandson of the city’s founder Kempegowda, is closely associated with the history of Bangalore. Through interviews with historians and an investigation of historical records, Rangasiri will create a theatrical piece that will be staged in and around the tower.
Mounesh Badiger: To create a performance around the life and works of eminent Kannada writer Masti Venkatesha Iyengar. The performance will begin with a walk starting on the road in Gavipuram that is named after the writer, continue into Gandhi Bazaar and culminate near the Basavanagudi Club with a play devised from short stories written by Masti.
Dimple Shah: To create performance art work in the Basavanagudi area. Over three months, Dimple will create a series of six artistic interventions in prominent spots on the streets of Basavanagudi and Hanumantnagar. Domiciled in Bangalore for about 20 years, Dimple will engage the characteristic features of the city – its history, its colours and its people – in an attempt to examine questions about her own roots and identity.
Mallika Prasad and Ram Ganesh Kamatham: To create a site-specific performance on the artificial climbing wall located within Phoenix Market City mall, Mahadevapura. As actors and avid mountaineers, Mallika and Ram Ganesh will develop the performance through a process of research into and experimentation with aerial movement, visual design, climbing techniques and urban art.
080-30 Collective: To support ten artists of the 080:30 collective to create site-specific performances in various parts of the city. Each of the ten artists will work with five different spaces and their projects will be chosen through a process of discussion and evaluation within the collective. The grant is being made to Naveen Mahantesh, an artist-architect and a member of the collective.
Jeetin Rangher: To create a site-specific performance at Vinayak Mantap, a building on Bellary Raod that used to be a marriage hall until it was recently sliced into half during the road construction process. Jeetin will take on the character of a migrant labour for three months and facilitate visual arts and performance arts works on the site. He will work in collaboration with visual artists Bhuvanesh Kumar and Katarina Rašić.
The festival began on June 5 with six conversations featuring the recipients of IFA's grants under Project 560— Mallika Prasad and Ram Ganesh Kamatham; Dimple Shah; Jeetin Rangher; the theatre group Rangasiri; the 080:30 Collective; and Mounesh Badiger. The grantees spoke about their work in conversation with six experts—Lawrence Liang,Suresh Jayaram, Lina Vincent Sunish, B S Ramamurthy, Dilawar Ramdurg and Vikram Hathwar respectively. This was followed by a panel discussion on the Reimagining Spaces for Performance, featuring Nikhil Chopra, Maya Krishna Rao and C Basavalingaiah with Kirtana Kumar and Suresh Kumar G. From June 6 to June 8, 2014, all our Project 560 grantees performed at found spaces across the city, including Mekhri Circle, Basavanagudi, Bellary Road, Whitefield, Wilson Garden and Commercial Street.
Project 560, 2014 has been supported by Qualcomm Foundation.