ARIKAMEDU | In the presence of the past in our present
ANKON MITRA | AVIJIT DUTTA | KP PRADEEPKUMAR | MANISH SHARMA | RAHUL MODAK | MAINAZ BANO | OM SURYA | CHARANJEET SINGH | EKTA SINGHA | SANGAM VANKHADE
Art Centrix Space brings to light a two thousand years old ancient site - Arikamedu; the only ever evidence of a Roman settlement in India.
Discovered by the famous British archaeologist Sir RE Mortimer Wheeler in the 1940s, upon my visits to this structure, located in Puducherry along the backwaters of river Ariyankuppam, I have found it to be beautiful edifice approached by a tall gateway with ancient Roman understructure and well planned pathways in bricks. No one I met, knew or had heard about it so this was the inception of a mission to raise awareness about our ancient heritage with a focus on ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’ sites. Arikamedu, documented as a trading post on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal was also a part of the southern Silk Route. Thus, we are interested in exploring the links of culture, assimilation, movement and migration through the evidence presented by history and visual arts along the Bay of Bengal with those of the ancient Mediterranean maritime ports. We hope that the present and future generations will see the value of culture once they understand that trade and commerce was and today continues to be the reason for movement and migration.
Can contemporary practice be a significant catalyst to a cross-cultural give and take in a global economy while maintaining its indigenousness? Is it possible that there is also a process of cultural natural selection that occurs over time such that some things perish and some endure? We also intend to question if it is true of contemporary art. A critical element of this curated booth is the bridge from past to present and to an imagined future where time and space may be witnessed not in a linear fashion, rather in a parallel dimension. Through the art created, we are interested in conveying how one can be in the presence of the past in the present. Can we explore a virtual reality such that art goes beyond documentation and becomes experiential?