Objet Trouvé+ was a fifteen-day virtual residency from 20th September to 04th October 2020 for eleven artists and one writer on art - a unique opportunity to work on a common theme while re-examining their creative process.
The Residency drew its inspiration from the Surrealist principle of the found object, the notion that one could project ones thoughts and ideas onto a representational readymade object(s). For curator Apurva Kulkarni, it was a depth exercise in blending the core beliefs of the early Surrealists with Jungian analysis. It created a safe space for participants to explore their impulses, delve into their unconscious and revel in the pure act of ‘making’, without exterior pressures.
The prompts, conversations and a cornucopia of images around Surrealist notions were meant to exercise their facilities of free thinking, re-assessing the materials and ideas that surround them, while providing a framework to engage with others’ ideas and work. By anchoring individual experience at the centre of the creative process, the Residency, the curator and the writer were to function as Athena’s mirrored shield, allowing participants to look deep within the untamed Gorgonian recesses of their minds.
The first prompt got artists to delve deep and (re)create a “self portrait as a found or assisted object”. An exhilarating exercise, participants revelled in the freedom, experimenting with the idea of self and its multi-hued facets.
Drawing on their current space and surroundings, the second prompt revealed aspects of daily life, thrown into sharp relief within the claustrophobic pandemic situation.
The third and final prompt for the Residency championed the found object, requiring each participant to experiment within a confined space, play with objects and how they relate to each other. For Apurva, ever suspicious of the term “think outside the box” it was an open challenge to the artists to re-interpret the container itself.
Collaborative Zine: As a way to foster a collaborative spirit, and to get see other participants' aesthetic and systems, we collectively looked at creating an A5 zine, each with their own page with the cover designed by Apurva Kulkarni.
Exquisite Corpse 2.0: Playing the Surrealist parlour game, Exquisite Corpse, was challenging given the online format, however, play it they did! Each Residency participant was given a random area ‘cut’ from a larger sheet on which Ruchi and Rajvi had drawn joining lines. Once filled in, these were rejoined to match up the markings and thus was created Equisite Corpse version 2.0.