Theertha at Barefoot | Sunday Observer

Theertha at Barefoot

Theertha thought of its working as a process that interrogated and destabilized that status quo that made it possible for all kinds of hegemonic practices in the cultural, political and artistic fields in the island and elsewhere as and when they saw and experienced those formations. 

Theertha at Barefoot, an exhibition by a group of Theertha artists is on display at the Barefoot gallery from December 13 to January 5, 2020. Anoli Perera, Auura Krishantha, Anusha Gajaweera, Bandu Manamperi, Buddhika Nakandala, Danushka Marasinghe, GR Constantine, Jagath Weerasinghe, Koralage Pushpakumara, Lalith Manage, Liz Fernando, Menika Van Der Poorten, Pradeep Thalwatta, Pradeep Chandrasiri, Prasanna Ranabahu, Priyanthi Anusha and Thisath Thoradeniya are presenting their paintings at the exhibition.

Explaining the artistic collective of Theertha Red Dot Gallery, artist Jagath Weerasinghe said, “In 2000, a group of friends, who were also artists working together since the mid 1990s, formally named itself ‘Theertha International Artists Collective’. Hence, Theertha is an artist led initiative that began as a collective of artist-friends.”

According to Jagath, the mission and vision of Theertha was to work towards enhancing art appreciation, the role of art in social and political issues, and growth of artistic and intellectual creativity in Sri Lanka.

Theertha thought of its working as a process that interrogated and destabilized that status quo that made it possible for all kinds of hegemonic practices in the cultural, political and artistic fields in the island and elsewhere as and when they saw and experienced those formations.

“Theertha critically engages with and questions the possibilities of nationalist and racist systems of thoughts at work among us in the communities at large; and Theertha has the same critical approach to the hegemonic and exclusivist practices of curatorial networks and craftsmanship that attempt to colonize the future of the art world for the service of the powerful institutions. The emergence of theertha coincided with an artistic trend that is called ‘Art of the ’90s or the ’90s Trend.

This was the name given to a trend that took a narrative turn in art making in Sri Lanka in the hands of several artists from Colombo to Jaffna and Theertha provided a lasting and definitive creative energy to this trend that was experimental, socially critical and interventionist. In short, Theertha was the artists’ movement that galvanized and emboldened this radical artistic trend till late 2010,” Jagath said.

Monitor:13 screening today

Monitor:13 Dance on my head and scratch my heart, film and video screening will be held today, (15) at 5.30pm at the Theertha Red Dot Gallery. The session will be co-curated by artist and filmmaker Sharlene Bamboat and filmmaker Priya Sen.

The program invites the viewer to consider the indecipherable traces and charges of the past. It is an invitation to dance to the meditative, moving images in the program. Through letters, biographies, surfaces, sounds and architectures, the curators have assembled the films to gesture not only towards things lost and hidden along the way, but their connections to living and renewal.

The screening will be followed by a Q and A session with Indu Vashist, the Executive Director of the South Asian Visual Art Centre in Toronto. The session will be moderated by Sandev Handy, Artist and Curator based in Colombo.

MONITOR 13 features new works by Faraz Anoushahpour and Parastoo Anoushahpour, Rehana Zaman Nazlı Dinçel, Michelle Williams Gamaker, August Fröhls (Swapnaa Tamhane & Aman Sandhu), Weeda Azim, and Oliver Husain.

“MONITOR is our bi-yearly experimental South Asian film and video program that holds a steady engagement with an international community of artists, curators and critics, initiating dialogues around the shifting nature of South Asian politics, economies and landscapes through artists’ film,” the program organizer said.

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