Monday, September 16, 2013

EDITORIAL - Impressions - Break It Till You Find It..and more..

EDITORIAL - Impressions
Break It Till You Find It 
There is a large glass window at my office. It gives me the view of a silent sky, changing its mood once in a while. Like in dumb charades I could see mother monkeys carrying their infants at their breasts across the road, but a few feet above the street, at my eye-level, along the high tension electric wires that slice up the silent space into a minimal painting. I see the buildings being built square foot by square foot and given a finished look before the process is completed. Policemen come, contractors follow, without the rustling sound of currency notes, favours are exchanged. Just above the showrooms and galleries, in the narrow balconies undergarments and clothes dry, counterbalancing the aesthetics within the well lit galleries below. I stand there watching it every day, thinking about the market place that life has become. I think about art market. Then turn to those works of art kept elegantly in my office. I sigh. I go back to my seat and I work.
(Images for illustrative purpose only)
I see an artist walking down the street, utterly lost. She ambles up and down measuring the quality of the works displayed in the galleries from outside, judging the worth of each gallery based on the sign boards that scream out their presence. Then she moves a bit further up in the street, pushes open the glass door of a gallery and disappears from my view. I wait for her to return for I want to see her face again. She does not come out. She must have met the gallerist, I imagine. They talk. What do you do? Painting, sculpture or cutting edge? The gallerist asks. She remains silent for a few seconds. I want to do painting and sculpture. But I am more interested now in doing residencies so that I would get some kind of exposure in the international scene, she says. Good, replies the gallerist. Yes, the market is not good now. You must travel and get exposure, she continues. But could you please see my works? Artist asks politely. The gallerist’s mobile phone rings, she excuses herself and goes into her cabin. 
My mobile too rings and the ringing shakes me out of my reverie. Hi, my friend says from the other end. I say hello. And I wish him happy birthday as he has turned forty recently. I see his face beaming with happiness as his voice reflects it though I cannot see his face. We talk. We take utmost care not to talk about art market, which would obviously depress us both. So we talk something else. We laugh and feel its hollowness. Then we go silent. After sometime he breaks the silence with a comment. He strikes at the taboo code; market. When the market comes back, he chuckles in hope and continues, when the market comes back, we will be ‘masters’ as well as ‘contemporaries’. I get the meaning of it and I agree with him amidst the mirth that his comment has created.
Do you understand what the artist has just said? When the market comes back, we will be ‘masters’. Masters are those people who have been around for at least four decades and have created a considerable body of works with enough critical literature around it. And what about contemporaries? They are the people who create works of art with a contemporary sensibility. If masters are the contemporaries of future (when the market comes back), what could be the role of the young artists of that time? Doesn’t the artist comment hint that after his generation there are no good artists worth mentioning? Despite its cynicism, does this comment hold water?
(Images for illustrative purpose only)
I think there is some truth in his statement. Today, like the young woman who was walking along the street in search of her dream gallery, most of the young artists are clueless. They move from one project to the other. They think that coteries and lobbies would work for them. So they hop from one party to another, one opening to another, get their pictures clicked with the right people, send ‘likes’ in facebook to those comments written by the so-called opinion makers and powerful operators. In this hopeless pilgrimage they forget to do their art. I have seen artists starting off with beautiful works but later straying into incomprehensive art forms just for the sake of being trendy and for being with ‘them’.
They don’t see that when they change their ‘reality’ and project it into an aspiring future, the gallerists remain the same in their business practice. They do not change according to the whims and fancies of the artists. They do promote the art of ‘change’ but they remain loyal to their ‘business trends’. Most of the gallerists today are apologetic about the kind of experiments that they did during the fag end of the market boom. They accept that they were thoroughly confused. Result; the gallerists say that they are here to do business than being trendy. That is a good thing to happen. They should stick to business. They get oscillated when the trends change internationally. But standing strong with clear business policies is the need of the time. Let the artists change. They will eventually come back to their roots. After all, as one artist has recently put it, art is about roots.
The girl who still walks up and down in the street, trying to figure out fatigue or faith and which one is deeper, somehow thinks that her saviour is out there; in the form of a gallerist or a foreign curator, or a crook clad in a curator’s garb. But from this vantage point, I can see her saviour sitting inside her. I see her turning into an image made of glass. Her saviour and redeemer sits there inside her heart and head. I hope she would see them one day. May be I need to throw a stone at her so that she could break into pieces and find her real self staring at her from those shining shards. 
I am the Tiger
(I am the tiger show)
Azad Bhavan of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) New Delhi, presents an art exhibition and a play titled, ‘I am the Tiger’. Based on the art initiative, the show will display works of master artists like Padmashree Anjolie Ela Menon, The Singh twins, Arpana Caur along with the interpretations of young students.
Students from schools like the Maharaja Jam Sahib School, Warsaw, St. James School, Edgware School, Sunrise Primary School and The Gems Hampshire School in London, Mayo College Girls School, Mayo College and Mayur School  in Ajmer and Sanskriti School and Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi will be part of the show.

The play is conceptualized, written and performed by Shivani Wazir Pasrich and "I am the Tiger" is the story of Taqdeer (Destiny), raised in the forests of Sarhi. 
The show is on view till the 24th of September 2013.

MAAC - Artoon 2013
(Work at the show)

Indian Cartoon Gallery, Bangalore presents the show of the selected cartoons and caricatures, from the winners of the MAAC - Artoon 2013 competition. MAAC in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Cartoonists hosts this show.

The works done by the students were based on two specific themes, mainly, ‘Corruption’ and ‘Match fixing’.  The show presents the evocative and expressive illustrations of the young student cartoonists.

The show is on view till the 17th of September 2013.

Art Rocks!
(Photography works on display)
Goethe Zentrum, Hyderabad presents an exclusive exhibition on rocks, in photographs, drawings and paintings. The show is hosted by the Society to Save Rocks. 

This society is based in Hyderabad and aims to preserve the ancient natural granite formations of the Deccan plateau. The society also involves the artists, painters and photographers to prevent the indiscriminate destruction of the picturesque landscapes and environment, being destroyed by incessant land mining and land grabbing for nefarious mining.

The show is on view till 16th of September 2013.

Temple inspired art
(Work on display)
Achalam art Gallery Chennai, presents a solo show with the works of artist K Ravi. The artist is Vishakapatnam based and is a BFA graduate from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai. 
K Ravi has had many solo andgroup show participations and displayed works in Tamilnadu Trade Fair exhibitions, Sixth Rashtriya Kala Mela, Chennai and more.
The works on display are rendered in oil and acrylics on canvas. The artist has a fascination for the temple architectural facades. He paints these with great finesse and skill in his collections on display.
The show is on view till the 17th of September 2013

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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