Uthon

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Uthon started as a platform for sharing the practices of a group of students of kala bhavana, intending to involve a large spectrum of practitioners of several disciplines. Since it was initiated from everyday  studio-practice and sharing, we started to think about generating a collective practice or communal making. Indeed Uthon was initiated in an institutional periphery and we found it extremely resourceful since the university itself is a gathering zone for practitioners of various disciplines.

 Santiniketan is a merging space of provincial and global culture which has been shifting its landscape rapidly over time. This is a practical junction for developing a collective practice. In lockdown we started discussing about that, a shared ownership of an expression. A big push came from lack of studio practice. It immediately made us to think about shared studio and thus a shared expression as well. This way the studio became a converging arena and we’ve been trying to extend it further. 

"An Event Based Mapping"

This work revolves around the interconnection of the body and home and its ownership and at which point it turns into  a bodily home from a real estate one. Colonial residential architectures are contextually relevant since it has multiple  points of ownership. Visiting some such residence, several layers of home were coming up --- “Home as a laboratory for  new self-making” or “Home as a land which I occupied” or “an acquisitive home, a probable utopia” or “Home as a place  we left”. Basically with the visits the hierarchy of a real estate home were getting dissolved into a personalised one.

Mapping a Living
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The stories that inspired us to work-
A Field Book of Making

There is a story about a posterity of a coloniser, 

“A billionaire wakes up in the morning and sees his acres and acres of land. On his own land a mad man, half naked, is digging the land with shovel. He asks him, what do you think you are doing? The mad-man says, I’m building my home.  The billionaire says, how can you? This is my land. Mad-man replies how so? You are standing there, not here. The  billionaire replies, my father gave me this. He got it from my grandfather who fought with the Red Indians for it. The  mad-man says, ok, I got a shovel, I’ll fight.”

TWO CARETAKERS 

Taltore Rajbari: The caretaker of Taltore Rajbari told us about her experiences. When she first came she thought about  how can she maintain this big house with her three-members-family. She managed to live in a small part of the house.  They created a personalised pattern. Even she explained that the house was full of ancestral ghosts. But the ghosts left  the part where the caretaker's family live. 

Moitra Bari,Santipur: The ‘sharik’s (family members who have their part in the house, to claim) talk to the caretaker  separately and he was confused about different stories he heard from them. His job, at some time, becomes to manage  them separately so that he can stay their peacefully. At some point we realised that he is struggling to confirm his own  existence in that house.

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overview

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(click to view)
On Site

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What are you going to take forward from this make-shift studio practice experience?

"Since we started from a studio based- painterly practice, we had certain tools involved in it. The  immediate shift was, for shifting the studio, bringing a lot of tools in making and coping with the  materials and involving other people in our expression. It’s a shift from an apparently closed system to  an open one."

Project initiated by - Soumava Das
UTHON- an art collective by nine students of MFA First Year
 Moushmi Mahato, Satyam Singh, Saurabh Kumar, Siddharth Soni, Soumava Das, Rabiul Khan, Ritushree Mondal, Surajit Mudi, Biswajit Thakuria

uthoninitiative@gmail.com