SARAH AHMAD | 9 MARCH, 2016
Words waiting to be written, in a queue, on a plane, on top of a hill, through air, in glass houses, eyes wide open, numbness, madness, brisk air of gold, words painted on white spaces within darkness stills. Words being screamed, shouted, stunted, strangled. As freedom gets lost in a thick cloud of fear, as flags, chants and anthems become traces of patriotism, dreams begin to recede, so do crowds that lit minds. Words are played around with, mispronounced, willingly misunderstood, words said under the sun, into parcels now opened to public knowledge, then stifled, then eradicated, words becoming beacons of social change, of societal upheavals, violence, freedom battles; issues arisen without a notice, sans a warning.
We go through painless moments, scraping past layers of dust on footpaths, only to become paths of glory, paths of distress, blood, of victimisation. On paths we walk, some we create, and others we destroy, through beams and talks, bullets and roars. We build though, with a stroke at a time, a word at a time, an act, a conversation, a step at a time, build houses of peace, gatherings of paint, gallops of sounds in a maze of drama and art.
Among the chaos and dictatorial political clouds, recitals and performances are bringing back soothing and thought provoking stories from the past and present, reviving and reinventing spaces as spaces of art and theatre. Touching upon the lives of Sufi saints, an interactive performance tracing the journey of Sufism from the 8th Century AD to the present will be held at India International Centre in New Delhi this month. Presented by The Looking Glass, Mumbai, the essence of Sufism and its impact on our everyday lives is explored through narrations and live music by singer and composer Anuraag Dhoundeyal, storyteller Priyanka Patel and multi-percussionist Karan Chitra Deshmukh.
Art is animated, it moves, sways, screams and converses, it dances around streets, it gallops, chases, sulks and gets tempted, it loses temper, extends a helping hand, populates, erases, voices opinions, art stops, it stares, it plays and dances around sidewalks and at city parks- its human, its brutal, its careless.
Bringing together street plays on myriad issues, stage theatre, classical/contemporary dance, music, suppressed art forms like magic, circus, puppetry - Malang, presented by Vayam, is a performance arts festival engaging in a constant conversation with the audience. The aim is to bring about societal change through dialogues and dramatic display on various social issues, and to promote and celebrate art forms and artists of India.
Art is in notes of the soul, in stories of the daily wanderers, bystanders, the daily wager, in the outdoors, through windows, into, up to, colourful paper boards and architectural sculptures, art carries traces of the everyday, the everyday becoming a piece of art.
Many Facets of an Artist: Collections from the Bhupen Khakhar Estate showcases works by artist Bhupen Khakhar at the National Gallery Of Modern Art in New Delhi. Khakhar’s art and ideas were influenced and shaped through observations and commentaries on daily street life, the streets becoming his constant place of education in the subject of art and life. The works at the exhibition include painting, print, installation, ceramic and mixed media.
A solo exhibition, Mind The Gap, at Galleryske, by Hyderabad based artist, Dia Mehta Bhupal examines the contemporary status of photographic images. Through her unique approach to photography the artist makes images of rooms and other spaces that look strange yet familiar. Her photographs include three dimensional life size sets, constructed through newspaper and cardboard, cut, rolled and glued into more complex structures, often over a period of two or more years. Each roll creates myriad stories, weaving memories and experiences from different cultures, time periods and genres. Unlike passive image taking, Bhupal’s work does not simply depict the world around her but actively participates in its construction.
People, places, names, moments, we fill up our minds every day, with new faces and new identities, looking for new routes and forgetting a blurred yesterday, we fill ourselves with tides and tribulations, cries and matters of the heart, happy thoughts, unwashed dishes, half dried clothes, with paint spills and political roads of dirt and toil, hatred, kindness, falsehoods; our minds become words, words to be played out, to be danced around with, to be half listened to, half tainted, words to be remembered, words to be painted.
Events and Art Exhibitions:
Sounds Of Sufis, C.D. Deshmukh Auditorium, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, on March 19th, at 6:30pm
Malang, Performance Arts Festival, by Vayam, at various places in Delhi, and Little Theatre Group, Madi House, New Delhi, on till 18th March
Many Facets of an Artist: Collections from the Bhupen Khakhar Estate, at National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, on till 27th March
Mind The Gap, by Dia Mehta Bhupal, at Galleryske, Connaught Place, New Delhi, on till 15th April