Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A sincere request....

Has post modernism been the culprit which has allowed for catchy ideas to be the only "bling-thing" to art endeavours today, especially when it comes to events that invite collaborations and collective interaction? Today this could well be the fear we face when the most mediocre of standards get excused because of the desire to accommodate everything and anything as art expression.

I want to walk the tightrope where I balance myself with optimism and a spirit to be open, but in no way does this suggest that idiocity is a crown I am willing to have placed on my head to wear as an artist at any time in my life! There are many issues to this problem we face today where the attitude of "sub kuch chalta hai art ke naam me" exists, but perhaps the most glaring factor to this "dippy-do-diddle-dee-dee, aren't-we-all-a-happy-family" is mistaking mere organisation to be curation. Having little visible structure that situates a concept or makes a pivotal argument to an art idea is only too prevalent these days and this new trend which allows us to accept sponsorships and financial aid which come with vested interests to promote the investors as collectors and connoisseurs of art is perhaps the most dangerous thing of all.

At a time when Indian art needs no longer to fight to be seen with parity and merit in an international arena, and possesses the infrastructures of a national awareness that holds it in high esteem, why do we choose to dig our own graves and belittle the seriousness we strove for as art practitioners in the first place?

We abuse so many opportunities that come our way and then make lame excuses that always point the finger of accountability away from ourselves. Documentation that records the work of an artist, for example, is a hugely serious activity and cannot be experimented with in ways that compromise the authenticity of the artist who is being represented. In recent instances just being the viewer to documentation of such a nature that is so terribly sub-standard in every which way, shames one as the onlooker; because it is a collective responsibility that we hold to make the contemporary history we engage with be disseminated through a methodology that is researched, and most importantly, honourable to the basic intentions of offering something that holds substance because it is itself informed via the insightfulness of those who choose to make it.

I am both perturbed as well as anxious that the over zealousness of "filling spaces" like an army of ants so that we can claim to be active will become a folly that haunts us all when, down the line, our history will be dotted with the humiliation of mediocrity that we were too embarrassed to fight off when we needed to arrest its unbearable presence. Let us be more honest to ourselves. This isn't too much to ask I believe.

If art and art activities is the new toy in the hands of curious infants, it needs to be monitored so that it doesn't harm the child who carelessly plays with it. Much has been invested into the cauldron of this bubbling pot of art and culture so let's not just spill the whole darn thing over because we don't have the guts to articulate the boundaries that need to be set in place, because otherwise we will knowingly and willingly dilute the very nectar that feeds us too.

1 comment:

  1. You are so right, Rekha. But who is to decide what is mediocre and what is not? Whether it is art or politics, education or city management, hidden agendas are always at work!