Broken White

Centre Intermondes, La Rochelle

NikhilChopraBrokenWhitemain

 

September 2010
Duration 6 weeks Artist in Residence
Costumes: Loise Braganza
Photography Laurent Millet, Claudie and Michel

Broken White or Blanc Cassé in French, is essentially the colour of the city La Rochelle and the rock it is built with. It is also the colour of my canvas; unbleached cotton. In my suited gentleman personae I spent 3 days in Galerie Art Contemporain where I made a series of charcoal drawings on cotton of La Rochelle from a collage of photographs and took walks through the city.

The invitation to come to La Rochelle as Artist in Residence came from Centre Intermondes part of the Ville de La Rochelle. The city is on the Atlantic Coast of France known for its fresh oysters, Fruit de Mer platters and Regatta Sailing Races. Built all out of chalky limestone this medieval fortressed port was the setting for a six weeks residency. I lived in the Centre Intermondes apartment, fully equipped with kitchen and courtyard. My time there was divided between an exhibition at Carre Amelot (a public center for photography), Galerie Art Contemporain (the cities art gallery) and Centre Intermondes (the international cultural center whose French Renaissance garden I  used for my performance).

Towards the end of the residency, I performed again for 3 days, this time in the persona of a duchess, dressed to loosely remind people of Marie Antoinette. I drew on the costume, from life the façade of the Centre Intermondes, using its train as a large canvas. Before ending up at Galerie Art Contemporain I paraded the drawing on the costume though the streets and by-lanes of La Rochelle.

Probably the most exciting part of the residency was my collaboration with Laurent Millet. Laurent is a photo based artist living in La Rochelle. We made several trips to Crazannes, lime stone mines in the Charante river valley. We shot a series of medium format photographs and video. I also enjoyed my encounter Mauricio Carrasco, artist in residence and an extraordinary classical guitarist. Mauricio played Baroque and his own compositions for 2 hours reacting spontaneously to the performance as it went from twilight to night.

 

Galerie Art Contemporain

Centre Intermondes

Carre Amelot

 

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