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Santiniketan, May 2, 2022
AMBIT is an international artistic proposal, conceived by the Spanish artist Cristobal Gabarron whose first edition began in the city of Mula (Murcia Region), in the southeast of Spain, on February 26, 2022.
The second edition of this innovative international initiative has taken place at the emblematic Visva Bharati University, founded in the middle of nature by the Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1921 in Santiniketan, 160 km from the city of Calcutta. The artistic action event has been developed in 3 hours and 50 minutes at the campus of Kala Bhavan, the Faculty of Arts in the heart of the university campus, a few meters from the historical complex of residences of the Bengali genius, in the emblematic place Chattal where The Teacher, under the shade of the tree of the wisdom of the East, used to give his master classes to students of fine arts and other artistic disciplines.
Until this iconic "ambit", where the buildings painted by the students and teachers themselves constitute anonymous works of art in dialogue with the exuberant nature and are full of murals and sculptures by outstanding masters, the Spanish artist has traveled, invited by the government of India as a Distinguished Visitor of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCCR) together with a team from the Gabarron Foundation and the Casa de la India Foundation, co-organizers of this event.
AMBIT is the main program of the commemorative events of the 30th anniversary of the Gabarron Foundation, which for this edition has chosen the Visva Bharati University as the ideal space (ambit), coinciding with the commemorative events of the centenary of its creation in 1921 by one of the most iconic figures of Indian culture who advocated cultural cooperation and the arts as tools for transforming society: Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), a multifaceted and vast artist who has significantly influenced the work and creative vision of Cristobal Gabarron; He was a poet, playwright, thinker, educator, painter and musician.
Gabarron has worked live, an action painting on a 9 x 29 feet (3 x 9 meter) canvas, which has been entitled "Eyes of a dream", in dialogue with more than thirty outstanding artists, musicians and professionals from Santiniketan, Calcutta and other cities of the India, together with the dancer and choreographer from Valladolid who specializes in performing arts from India, Mónica de la Fuente.
Highlights of AMBIT Santiniketan included performances by the renowned singer of the Baul mystical tradition Parvathy accompanied by three other Baul masters, the Rabindra Sangeet choir (music composed by Tagore) made up of 11 students from Kala Bhavan directed by the musician Pulak Da, the performer of esraj (typical string instrument) Dwaipayan Sarkar accompanied by percussion board, and the recitation of Tagore's poetry by Kazi Pramila Kabir.
Santiniketan, which means "dwelling of peace" and Sriniketan (campus dedicated to rural development) were conceived by Tagore as emblematic spaces in the middle of nature to launch, after the First World War, a new ecosystem dedicated to art, creation and education based on an innovative educational model, in the transmission of knowledge in tune with nature (outdoors) and respecting the close teacher-disciple relationship (guru-shishya) and the ancient oral traditions offering a more human holistic perspective, critical, creative and responsible. Inspired by this vision, Cristobal Gabarron proposed an original action painting + performance + happening as an experiment that has brought together a group of artists, art critics, teachers and students from various disciplines to create a collective work. During the process of creating the mural the Spanish artist dialogued with dance, music, recitation and poetry, and the art of painting “alpana” geometric figures on the ground.
Ambit Santiniketan, co-organized by the Gabarron Foundation and Casa de la India, was curated by the director of Casa de la India and literary critic Guillermo Rodríguez, and coordinated by Soumik Nandy Majumdar, art critic and professor of art history at Kala Bhavan, Visva Bharati University and Soma Bhowmik, art professor at Sister Nivedita University, an entity that also contributed and participated with a team of two professors and 5 students shooting the artistic event and creating the audiovisual documentary led by Dr. Jhumur Dutta Gupta and organized by Dr. Buroshiva Dasgupta, director of the School of Mass Communication, Fine Arts & Design.
Among the institutional partners of Ambit Santiniketan are the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Embassy of India in Spain, the Cervantes Institute and the Embassy of Spain in India.
After passing through India, the next edition will be held in Germany on June 18 at the Bei Wu Sculpture Park in Wesenberg (Germany), in September in New York (USA), in October on the island of Gozo ( Malta), in November in El-Bahnasa (Egypt), in December in Kathmandu (Nepal). For 2023 editions are being prepared in Australia, Canada, Chile / Costa Rica / Mexico, China, Ghana / South Africa, Qatar and Spain.
AMBIT is the main program of the commemorative events of the 30th anniversary of the Gabarron Foundation. After passing through India, the next edition will be held in Germany on June 18 at the Bei Wu Sculpture Park in Wesenberg (Germany), in September in New York (USA), in October on the island of Gozo (Malta), in November in El-Bahnasa (Egypt), in December in Kathmandu (Nepal). For 2023 editions are being prepared in Australia, Canada, Chile / Costa Rica / Mexico, China, Ghana / South Africa, Qatar and Spain.