SAF Around the World: Marzia Farhana at Khōj International Workshop 2017
A not-for-profit, contemporary arts organisation based in New Delhi, Khoj International Artists’ Association, has, for the last 20 years, provided artists across South Asia and beyond, financial, physical and intellectual space through a variety of programmes including the South Asia Network for the Arts national workshop, and residency in Goa.
Each bi-annual 15-day residential workshop is organised by artists for artists, with the support of Khoj. Bringing together artists from various cultures and backgrounds to work together—exchanging ideas, encountering varied methods and approaches, and exploring alternative visual expression—the workshop encourages learning through collaboration and exchange.
This 14th edition of the workshop, hosted at Old Pereira House in Goa’s Corjeum Island Village, brought together 22 artists from 14 different countries including Azerbaijan, China, Italy, Istanbul, India (hosting country), Sri Lanka, the Ukraine, USA, as well as Rasel Chowdhury and Marzia Farhana from Bangladesh.
Detached from Corjeum’s city centre surrounded by tall trees and wild bushes, each of the participating artists were given space to work in Old Pereira House, which, after embracing its rich heritage, became the inspiration for Marzia’s work. Having found an old book shelf, Marzia began created a new piece of work using materials procured from the House.
Scanning through found books carefully cutting out words and sentences that interested her, Marzia acted as the editor of her work, removing any traces of the original author. Pinning sections together to create new phrases and sentences, Marzia floated these above the book shelf, juxtaposed with video and audio captured in the House’s garden, where she also placed other sections, capturing her own part in the building’s history while observing its natural surroundings.
An open space within which the participating artists could share their experiences and ideas through straightforward conversations, Old Pereria House’s relaxed atmosphere provided each artist in residence the time and space to re-imagine their working practice in new surroundings and at a slower pace of life.