When Estelle Met Parker & Sound Reasons III
When Estelle Met Parker
Following in the footsteps of Eros, an exhibition co-curated by Sumesh Sharma and Qinyi Lim at the University of Hong Kong Museum and Art Gallery in September 2014, When Estelle Met Parker is series of interventions by Clark House Initiative and a screening program looking at questioning the categorical imperative applied on notions of authenticity and identity and the slippages that allow for different modes of production and knowledge generation.
When Estelle Met Parker takes Bombay as it’s locus and its shared colonial history as a port city in the British Empire with Hong Kong. It starts as a study of the culture of fountain pens in these cities where citizens are guided by the British education system in which the use of fountain pens as a writing instrument is seen as a signifier of privilege, finesse and gravitas. More often than not, different models of this writing instrument have been linked with acts of historical importance rather than its more popular brethren, the Biro ballpoint pen.
The differences between the fountain pen and the biro are many and plenty. These are often based on a certain fascination in the tactile sensorial pleasure during the use of the fountain pen such as the writing angle, the type of paper used, the slowness in the act of writing, the variation in lines and strokes according to the type of nib and customized slant. With each pen, comes certain commitment to authenticity to the works produced but yet in When Estelle meet Parker, this is questioned through the proliferation of imitators of Parker Pens such as Wilson fountain pens in Mumbai and Hero fountain pens in Shanghai. In this intervention, artists of the Clark House Bombay are invited to contribute to the space while reflecting on the use of such fake instruments in the modes of artistic production.
In the spirit of questioning these inauthentic signifiers of privilege, When Estelle Met Parker seeks to claim a key figure back for Bombay and its film history – Merle Oberon (born Estelle Merle Thompson, Bombay, 1911-1979), as the first and currently only Indian actress ever to be nominated for Best Actress in the Academy Awards. Nominated for her role in The Dark Angel (1935), Oberon had never acknowledged her Anglo-Indian racial background nor her birth place through her entire professional life. Instead, she adopted the racial identity of a white Australian born in Tasmania – a façade that she maintained till death. ForWhen Estelle Met Parker, we look back at two moments of Oberon’s repertoire – her renowned leading lady performance as Cathy Earnshaw in William Wyler’s classic Wuthering Heights (1939) and her appearance in television show What’s my line? on October 17, 1954 in claiming both her as an actress and an individual.
- Qinyi Lim
Hong Kong 2015
When Estelle Met Parker is co-curated by Qinyi Lim, Para Site and Sumesh Sharma, Clark House Initiative.
Artists: Amol K Patil , Caecilia Tripp, Naresh Kumar, Poonam Jain, Prabhakar Pachpute, Rupali Patil, Sachin Bonde & Yogesh Barve
Coalmen, after Monet - Unloading the load of the Earth, Prabhakar Pachpute, 2015
Sound Reasons III
a presentation of sound installations
at Clark House Initiative
at Clark House Initiative
Sound Reasons is a record label and a festival for sound art and contemporary electronic music which promotes contemporary practitioners from Switzerland and India, amongst others. Sound Reasons started off as a record Label in 2009 releasing music and curating/ organizing sound art installations and electronic music performances. These activities later diversified and amalgamated into the first edition of the Sound Reasons Festival in 2012, which featured influential artists, like Bernd Schurer and Jio Shimizu. At Sound Reasons praxis has always been the focus while exploring various mediums and processes like publishing CDs, creating a festival and producing live performances and installations.
The event is presented by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council in collaboration with Clark House Initiative, a curatorial collaborative and a union of artists based in Bombay, on the occasion of Draft. A three-day conference at Studio X Mumbai, Draft collectively considers how contemporary art can initiate, invoke and contribute to public debates. The conference is a year-long project that is anchored in nine cities across the world, and will engage with critical discourses and practices related to the public sphere.
Artists: Marcus Maeder, Farah Mulla, Ish S, Salome Voegelin
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