‘Elephant in the Room’


Project Note:Elephant in the Room’ is a project by Conflictorium – Museum of Conflict (India) in collaboration with contemporary art center Stroom Den Haag in The Hague (NL) that attempts to initiate conversations on art infrastructures. 

Towards producing a publication in response to the fissures and anxieties in the structuring of the arts – framed as the ‘Elephant in the Room’, the project asked: what are the elephants in the rooms you occupy or are denied in the arts? Who are these elephants tethered to? Do they make noise? Can you touch them? Why do they exist? How can we free them from the confines of the rooms? 

Towards this, we invited critical and honest representations by artists and art writers in India for the prompt of ‘Elephant in the Room’. The attempt was to move away from a merit-based aesthetical discourse and pave way for assertive and self-representational aesthetics of the multitudes of Indian experiences with/in the existent arts infrastructures. 

Publication Blurb: Is an open call in the Arts truly open or is it challenged by its own protocols and prejudices? Are these protocols symptoms of deeper biases that restrict the democratization of the Arts and Culture? Why are some Art workers a recurring presence and others utterly absent from the conversations of Contemporary Arts? Is Culture only produced on archival paper? Where can we locate Culture? 

Signaling – or gesticulating – in aesthetics, language, and geography is a quotidian method for constructing a network in the Arts. 

This publication is a gathering of experiences of signals, across vantage points – center, periphery, siteless, that collectively offer themselves as artefact, manual, complaint, invitation, and disobedience.

Publication Contributors’ Contact Details: Details: 

Abin Sreedharan K P abinsreedhar@gmail.com
Aditi Premkumar aditipremkumar1499@gmail.com
Aishwarya Sultania tahproject1@gmail.com
Akbar Ali Sunasara akbar.vvac@gmail.com
Akhila GN akhilagn0499@gmail.com
Ali Akbar P N aliakbarn347@gmail.com
Alpesh Patel alpeshnadiyad@gmail.com
Ankur Yadav ankuryaadav00000@gmail.com
Anuj Madan whereisanuj@gmail.com
Anupam Roy anupamerid@gmail.com
Anupam Saikia anupam.saikia87@gmail.com
Arti Kadam artivijayk@gmail.com
Arundhati Chauhan aru.chau@gmail.com
Chetan Mevada chetanmevada27@gmail.com
Chetna Mehrotra chetna@chetnamehrotra.com
Chitra Chandrashekhar mographies@gmail.com
Clinton C George ccgblack337@gmail.com
Dakshayani Chippada dakshayanich5@gmail.com
Dhannjay Kumar dhannjay.next@gmail.com
Dhrubajit Sarma dhrubajitsarma56@gmail.com
Divya Varigonda bavishavarigonda@gmail.com
Dr. Nirmala Biluka bilukanirmala@gmail.com
Gavara Satyanarayana gsngrb@gmail.com
Hasanali M. Kadiwala Id-hasanalikadiwala1336@gmail.com
Hozefa Ujjaini hozefa09@gmail.com
Jaisingh Nageswaran jaisinghnageswaran@gmail.com
kapil Jangid Kapiljangid0506@gmail.com
Kingkar Sarkar kingkarsarkar04@gmail.com
Lekshmi Sudarsanan lekshmiss27@gmail.com
Mahesha G deburmahesh@gmail.com
Midhun T V midhuntvmigo@gmail.com
Mitali Das mitalidas2895@gmail.com
Narendran Nair rnair.narendran@gmail.com
Nitesh Chaudhari chaudharinitesh954@gmail.com
Nitheen Ramalingam nitheeramalingam@gmail.com
Obedient Student Off Duty @obedient.student.offduty (Instagram)
Prajapati utpal Utpalprajaps@gmail.com
Pramod kumar pramod17aug@gmail.com
Pravakar Ghosh pravakarghosh1988@gmail.com
Raju Patel rajubhinar73@gmail.com
Rakesh Kumar rakeshkumar.artist@gmail.com
Ritesh khowal khowaldritesh@gmail.com
Rituparna Pal rituparna2410@gmail.com
Rounak Maiti maitirounak@gmail.com
Rutvi Vakharia vibgyor.rutvi@gmail.com
Samya Raha samya.raha@gmail.com
Sanjib Mondal 26sanjib@gmail.com
Saroj Kumar Badatya sarojkumarbadatya21@gmail.com
Shaon Basu shaonbasu5884@gmail.com
Shashikanta Mohanty shashikantmohanty12@gmail.com
Sheshadev sagria sheshadevsagria28@gmail.com
Sonal Mithal sonalmithal@gmail.com
Soura Chatterjee 150souro1996@gmail.com
Stuti Jain stuti.art@gmail.com
Subodh Kunwer subodhkunwer22@gmail.com
Sumeshan K sumeshanmadikai@gmail.com
Sumitha O.K sumithabineesh@gmail.com
Sunnykumar Patani sunnykumar36324@gmail.com
Tanya Maheshwari tanya.0205@outlook.com
Tapas Malik tapasmalik2590@gmail.com
Thasil Suhara Backer thasil.xplor@yahoo.com
Ujwal kc ujwalkc53@gmail.com
Venkatesh P Venkateshp0726@gmail.com
Vijay Kadam vijaykadam75@gmail.com
Vishnu Kumar K K vishnukumar.vishnu8@gmail.com
Vivek Das M.M vivekdasmm@gmail.com
Yadhu anitchaofknowing@gmail.com
Yallaling Chalawadi lingachalawadi@gmail.com
Yash Vyas yashvyas.art@gmail.com
zeropowercut.com zeropowercut@gmail.com

Selection Open Call:

FAQS before you begin:

Q1) What is a ‘closed call’ that is public? How is it different from an open call?

We ask instead: what is an “open” call that is inherently limited by its own protocols, politics and prejudices? Can there be an open call that goes beyond its networks? How can we – as art and culture organisations – be more honest with the culture of “open” calls?

Q2) What does ‘Elephant in the Room’ mean?

The phrase ‘elephant in the room’ is a metaphorical idiom in English for an obvious conversation that is actively being denied its presence and time. It is based on the idea that something massive like an elephant can be invisibilized in an attempt to repress or dismiss certain conversations.

Q3) Who can apply?

Any Indian artist and art-writer that has applied to, but not received (m)any organisational support, either in finance or kind, in the last four years will be eligible to apply. Preference will be given to applications from non-metropolitan locations.

Q4) When is the last date to apply?

31st December 2021

Q5) Do I have to send in any works along with the application form?

No, it’s a simple application form requiring your name, contact details and past rejection letters. You will only be expected to share a piece of work upon hearing from us.

Q6) When do I hear from you?

Between 1st January 2022 to 10th January 2022

 Upon selection:

1. You will be required to respond to the thematic ‘Elephant in the Room’ , which can be either: 

A non-textual work (open to any medium: painting, image, performance, illustration, puppeting, sonic, textile, etc.)  

A writing upto 1000 words (open to any Indian language) accompanied by an English translation* of the same. Conflictorium may be equipped to support translations of Hindi and Gujarati essays. 

2. If your response / work is not static, it will make its way to the publication in the form of QR codes, links, and other interesting design methods which can be thought through collectively so feel free to send us non-image based works! 

3. You will have between 11th January 2022 to 25th January 2022 to share your work with us 

Additional details:  

1. About 75 artists and 25 art-writers will be selected by the jury. 

2. The selected applicants will receive a honorarium of Rs.10,000/- 

you may write to dialogue@conflictorium.org for more details.