Friday, August 27, 2010

Aging with grandeur…

What is it like to be on the other side? The other side of the city called the old city. Rioted with the colors of the festival, it took no longer than few minutes for the folks to embrace me into the wholesomeness of its celebration. Armed with the digital camera, I stole as much as I could, for many welcomed me while the others gave me a quirky glance. Nevertheless, I went on with my first photography assignment with an I-have-to smile. Beads entwined with threads hung all over the pushcarts. Small and cramped shops were packed with sweet meats yet the people didn’t seem to get enough. The old city of Amdavad shone in its full glory displaying the state’s quintessential craft works. The beautifully decorated thalis, torans and framed images of gods and goddesses seemed to enrich the festive mood of the place. The shadowed lives continued to flutter under the grand sunlit Lal Darwaja and it grew larger with the onset of the evening. The clicks accelerated as I carved my way through the ever pushing streets. In the process, I too pushed others to grab my perfect moment. Indeed, the colors of materialism and life blended triumphantly.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Casting the mould

I am not an artist, nor am i a Journalist..but i am in the middle of the spark called Arts Journalism. I wait for it grow into a fire, that will spread its warmth and its light across many minds and many people. We are all the first gatherers of the wood, the first set of eyes that wrinkle in the intensity of a wait that can be long..but end it will, because we are all kindled by a spirit that looks towards hope and light. Am i proud to be part of this revolution? I sure am!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

my first assignment :)

India, still going strong at 64 , has undergone a sea change in almost all sections of society… from Mahatma to Malls till the Naxalites to Nano…That leaves me to say that the world of art is no exception and the artists have left no stone unturned to showcase its importance. Infact, the development of arts throughout our Indian history have been affected by influences coming from other origins through trade, travel and conquest. For e.g. Moghul architecture and painting in India were born of the unique blend of Hindu, Persian and Islamic influences which resulted in new art forms unknown before. And this process has gone on throughout history right up to the modern times.

With due respects to the historical painters such as Raja Ravi Verma , Abindranath Tagore and Rabindranath Tagore etc , the modern Indian art also has produced some of the best painters such as Nandlal Bose, M F Hussain, Jatin Das, Amrita Shegill etc Very few extraordinary artists amongst the huge bunch of the talented painters have been able to make a mark both at the national as well as the international level. Mr. M F Hussain is one such example who has the privilege to be titled the Picasso of India by the Forbes magazine. Many of his works have got inspired from Mahabharata and have been internationally acclaimed as well as have broken records. His controversial painting of Mother India made him stay out of the country for a long period of time. But now he wishes to rekindle his memories with his mother land by introducing his latest venture namely, “My stories inside Ahmedabad Pol,”which is the most simple and silent of his works produced so far and perhaps his favorite too. The medium of expression is charcoal which he has used deliberately explaining the duality of his mind- the subconscious world and the reality of the physical world.

So, at the dawn of the first day of the 64th year of Independence, India welcomes Mr. M F Hussain at apnu Ahmedabad to inaugurate his new exhibition at Hussain Doshi Gufa at 4 pm on Aug 16, 2010.The exhibition will lasts till Aug 19, 2010 from 10 am to 6 pm at the same place. Thus time to get nostalgic and unfold our stories inside the pol……..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Happy Independence Day Indiya !

The campus was alive with festivities and buzzing with activity this Independence Day.

Happy Independence Day !

More in the coming posts by the budding art journos of CEPT.

A Short Theatre Review

Goggled view-point : operatic thriller's search for the alter ego

Matthew Sharp gave a tantalizing solo performance in the operatic thriller 'Johnny's Midnight Goggles' on Monday January 11, 2010 at Natrani. In the wake of increasingly intrusive nature of globalization, Matthew narrates the story of a metaphorical journey to salvage the enslaved Johnny from the clutches of the Machiavellian machine-driven network. The army of machines form a phalanx of villains who trigger the mindless abuse of human resources and nature.

The episodic structure of the play begins with a path and ends with Johnny walking down the same path and returning from a mundane existence to a living faceless hell to a definitive redemption. The story unfolds with a disappearance using imageries that range from a black camel to the uncomfortable presence of growling animals and gutted instincts. Johnny his friend, has been kidnapped; overcoming fear and foreboding, the protagonist sets out treading back and forth in time. Between pragmatism and dream. Between reality and magic where the journey is the destination. And the fate of one man becomes intertwined with the collective aspirations of the universe.

Matthew is an astute performer and a talented musician. Although there was creative use of sound and sound effects, the mode of communication was primarily auditive. Matthew was largely rooted to one place on the stage due to the cluster equipment and the placement of the cello.

In a way, although the message of the play was to transcend the debilitating influence of the 'machine', Matthew was transfixed due to the technology hub created by his backstage crew. And that itself was a paradox.

Not aiding and neither abetting the narrative was the use of overlapping sound at times jarring the narrative and spilling on to the enmeshed music. enmeshed

Coming back to the narrative, there were political references and asides that echoed the colonialist French man to fashion mishaps of Sarah Palin. The predominant use of green lighting can be viewed at two levels, on one hand it symbolizes greed and on the other it also reflects the sub-text of the environmental decay.

As the story concludes, we stumble onto the realisation that Johnny is the trapped man in all of us. He is the slave of the material-craving world where time zones dissolve and there is a relentless blind onslaught of the brand-web that casts its net on us. In this journey of the stage to the grave; one day in Johnny's hellhole is the equivalent of one year as sickness and the writer in Matthew Sharps script nudges us to believe that that our lives of glut would make us the victims of the excess.

In that clarion call of anyone who is willing to hear and act must walk away from the infernal machines (as Johnny did), the play ends. But does it? As I drive home to the neon-spilled Ahmedabad road, I am seized by the thoughts of the performance. It's use of myths and metaphor; but only one grouse if the mechanicality of technology(used not very effectively by the performer…revealing at times acute lack of stagecraft) talks about the mechanics of becoming mechanical, aren't we missing the power of live in live performance? What say you Mr Sharp? Are your goggles still on?