I have been buried under a mountain of work which has seen me blogging only in my head. However in the elapsed time I had my solo show titled Intangible Interlocution: An Anthology of Belonging. An exhibition is a place of repose for me....where all ideas come together and define the landscape of your life and politics; to commune in spirit with an audience who come to discourse with it. There are no secrets in this space and finally the nakedness of who one is percolates it's truth.
I spend very little time in the gallery after my show opens because it is a passage of transition for me, where I leave the work I create to exist without my mediation, and go back to my studio to reassess and ponder a progression into new articulations of deliverance. It is always the gestures of my Gallery team that holds my heart the most. The smiles of welcome, the extra spit and polish that goes into mounting the show, the endless cups of tea with the accompanying ice cubes brought exactly as I like it and even before I utter my request for one.....and more special than anything is the dress code for the opening that is our silent bond of love....ALL black! Twenty two years and still counting.....my association with Sakshi Gallery continues.
On the 9th of December International Human Rights day, the Clark House Initiative in Mumbai held an event to bring to attention the decade long fast of Irom Sharmila. This poet and activist from the Northeast has been on a hunger strike since the 2nd of November 2000 to demand that the Indian government repeals the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Using this non-violent form of protest to register her call for world attention, till date most powers of political significance have merely looked the other way. The Clark House Initiative invited selected artists to design ten feet by two feet (vertical) flags that was to be taken in procession by students of the J.J School of Art from Flora Fountain unto the NGMA. However the dictates of the law enforcing agencies (!) refused to allow this public art event to function as had been planned where the flags/banners were to be carried in procession on full view for the public to engage with. So once again a peaceful protest is quashed, whilst goondagiri from political agencies can thrive without a single police person stepping forward to intervene when life and property are at high risk!
I grow increasingly worried with the Anna Hazare movement. An initial supporter of the "gandhi-man" I now find little that resembles the wisdom of the mahatma in this tiny caricature that has unravelled with the topi cap. I caught him mockingly speaking of Sonia Gandhi at a TV press conference , and he I felt myself cringe with shame at the political games that were now so transparently evident from the team Anna camp. I also feel hugely concerned that a single institution will be vested with so much power. In the confessions of all Indians we admit and acknowledge that corruption and abuse of power is rampant, so it appears almost as though we are gifting the venomous snake a double set of fangs to bite us with!
On a lighter note, I must indeed nominate Renuka Choudhary for an oscar! What acting! The rolling of the eyes, the flick of the newly styled hair and the nose turned up in mock pique; with of course the loud unconvincing "ham actors" laugh! Dear lady you crack me up with laughter, and at the end of a hard days night (quite literally), your TV drama certainly has me in splits of laughter. Now whether the Congress party sends you out to be their stand up comedian is another story altogether.
I am back from a three day vacation with my family. The Eastend Lakesong resort on the Vembanad Lake in Kerala was a relaxing quiet get away to replenish my very tired self. Just the four of us and time together was sheer bliss.