Posts tagged ‘art’

November 4, 2012

Thank you Delhi

It’s been a little over a year since we began our “experiment” and since this blog came into being.

We’ve been fairly successful in achieving what we set out to, but a lot of credit goes to the city of Delhi and it’s art culture. I can’t think of any other city in India that has so much to offer an art aficionado and the best part is that most of it has little or no monetary implications.
During this period, we’ve attended film festivals, theater festivals, retrospective film screenings, concerts by internationally acclaimed musicians…all for FREE!

This is not limited just to the govt. (Indian & Foreign)  sponsored events; college theater, film clubs, art enthusiasts all come together beautifully in this city to keep an art enthusiast busy right through the year and it’s absolutely fantastic and great, that money doesn’t come between artists and their audience too often.

While an artist does need to make money to survive, he/she sometimes just need to go out and perform just so they can connect with their audience and share their creative space. It’s wonderful that this still happens in these materialistic and consumerist times.
We’ve also achieved a personal milestone of sorts; after many aborted or incomplete attempts at making a film, we’ve completed our first film. You can watch it here .
For all this and more……we thank you Delhi.

If you’d like join us sometime or collaborate in anyway do drop us a line.

April 28, 2012

Striking a balance

It’s quite fashionable to look down upon “entertaining art”, its almost as if entertainment equals crassness. While its true that a lot of mainstream and popular art be it films, theater, music in India (for that matter the world actually) does tend to be so, its unfair to lump all forms of entertainment together.

At the same time, the rhetoric of the practitioners is that we serve what sells. Interesting choice of words don’t you think? An art practitioner/artist chooses to sell his trade and caters to a certain market. No doubt he has to make a living, but merely coping out by saying so is not done.

Now lets try and go back in time a little bit, see how the traditional art forms evolved. Back when there was no mass media, no amusement parks, how do you think people got over their boredom. It would be fair to assume, they either picked up a musical instrument, a pen, a brush, a book or sporting equipment. So what I’m trying to say is that art has always had a connection with entertainment.

Just because over the years, we as humans have turned out to be collectively dafter, the entertainment that we sought and received has probably been dumbed down too.

There is nothing wrong in catering to the masses and trying to be a popular artist, as long as you keep reminding yourself you are an artist, which is to say that entertainment need not be mindless madness. You can mix entertainment and grace (for lack of a better word). Else you might end up being a trader not an artist.

September 26, 2011

When Art Inspires Artists

The greatest excitement about art is the process of creating it. Yes. It is.

When that illusive bolt of lightning strikes; you know what hand gesture would give that missing edge to the character, or what blocking would elevate the play to a new meaning altogether, or even when you haven’t a clue about stuff, nature conspires to give you that perfect shot on camera.

I would call all this inspiration, in a sense, to keep going on. To keep at it. And above all, I think that such akaashvani tells you point-blank that you are an artist. Good or bad? Well, that’s subjective really. I believe that if you are conscious towards your art, you are good. I would be digressing if I go into details here.

What is this force, this power that clicks you towards genius? Is it an external power, a subconscious one or something naturally within? Art academicians, psychologists and others interested might answer this, but to practitioners one thing is evident, this thing keeps evolving. These moments of ecstasy increase as you live life; more plays in your profile, well read about something (one), worked with different people, seen more of this world and so on. But sometimes, for those tiny nanoseconds of your life, you stand aside this constant growth and just let it sink in. You get inspired, truly. You want to shout with joy. You are fanatic. You become a fan.

One such moment in my recent life was watching Satah Se Uthata Admi, a film by the great Mani Kaul. Oh, what cinema! Pure genius! It’s so difficult to take up a subject, dive right into it, manage to take the audience along with you, and still come out of it unscathed. No harm’s done. I mean, keeping the viewer distanced from the art is difficult in theatre itself, let alone a film. The film is about a Hindi writer, Muktibodh – I read some of his poems after watching the film, he wrote brilliantly. Being a biographical film, Satah is not your traditional docudrama. It is a fictional journey of a poet into his life, his friends’ life and a life that he imagines when engrossed in literature (his own and sometime Muktibodh’s). All these narratives are overlapping, no state remains isolated from the other. Reality of one segment is a reality of the other as well. There is no shying away from it. Some examples now –

A cup of tea kept at the bedside in the morning is left untouched. It appears again in another narrative, but this time inside a fridge, after all it must have gotten cold by now!

A tired looking Hindu teacher shares a casual walk back home with a maulvi inside an evidently Muslim colony. The next thing you see is the dawn of a new day with saffron clad young men on horseback entering the colony. And to make it just a tad celebratory (and ironic), there is a brass band playing (with no background sound! It is silent!) as the violence begins.

This and many more such ‘realities’ are brought in front of the characters in the film, Mani Kaul behind the camera and to an extent the viewer sitting in the auditorium, watching. This debate between reality and fantasy, practical and ideal, theory and practice…is the essence of this film. Should the artist go deeper within to create something or should he get inspired from the realities outside? I see that we are back to where we started. I guess some arguments are lifelong. Or maybe Mani Kaul understood it all, he knew the answer. I guess I will have to watch the film many more times to find out.

Trust me, you have to see it to get it. And you will get it. It’s a piece of cake, this film. The difficult part begins when you realize that this film is twisting your innards and making you think. And think. About things that are cruel, sad, happy, mundane.

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