Baptist Coelho: What Have We Done For You?

8 June 2018, 7pm - 9pm

New Art Exchange

During World War I, the British Indian Army fought for Great Britain against Germany, for which they contributed a large number of divisions and independent brigades to the European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern theatres of war. In What have we done for you? the role of a soldier along with an invisible entity keeps gradually developing into unusual gesticulations with varied objects that question political dominance and subservience, self and the other. For Restage, the photographed body postures of Indian soldiers during World War I are further complicated by proposing what could have transpired to achieve such picture-perfect (mainly orchestrated) moments. The performance confronts the problematic dynamics of documentation and/for propaganda. The two performances were first realised at the Centre Pompidou, Paris on 16th February, 2018.

What have we done for you? and Restage will be performed back to back with a break of ten minutes. The duration of each performance is 15 to 30 minutes and will be performed only once. The performances will conclude with a discussion with Sooree Pillay

Baptist Coelho articulates unspoken stories to conjure meaning out of psychological and physical disruptions caused by war and conflict. Through a process of fact-finding and engagement with military and civilian personnel, he investigates issues surrounding conflict, war (and war museums), conscription, commemoration, emotion, heroism, the body, fear and gender, and explore their complex interconnections.

Image: Baptist Coelho, What have we done for you? (2018) Performance still
Courtesy of the artist, Hervé Véronèse (Photographer), Centre Pompidou, Paris and Project 88, Mumbai

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