Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kala Ghoda Festival 2010 (The essence of Public Art)

Come January, and the entire Art circuit will be filled with waves of the upcoming Kalaghoda Festival 2010. To us artists, this event held in the heart of Mumbai city, India, means more than ringing in the new year. Students and professionals from all over the country unite to celebrate the unwavering spirit of Mumbai.

I await the event too, just like everyone else. Last year I missed it on account of my on-going final year submissions for B.F.A. (Sculpture). And though my college - Sir J.J. School of Art - was barely a stone's throw away from where all the activity was, I was drowned deep into completing my Sculpture assignment.

Students from the junior classes were employed by corporates in the Art Industry to volunteer for small jobs in the mammoth event. As if to simply update myself over the happening of last year's fest, I did a quick search on YouTube.... and to my amazement, the keywords 'Kala Ghoda Festival' dished out videos related purely to Music and Dance. Where did all the Sculptures, Calligraphers, Installations and their Artists vanish, I wondered..... or did nobody bother to capture them on camera?

This was the only video that featured some Installation Art in it, and that too..... with an awful piece of background score. So, unlike other people who send video forwards, I would recommend you to turn your speaker volume OFF before you play this clipping.

It brings us to a very serious concern on how Visual Art is perceived in the city. Unlike other forms of Art, this category rarely gains public access. No wonder more and more artists are now keen on presenting their works in places where general masses could view and appreciate them. Is it more about us leaving our elitist egoes and making ourselves more approachable. And it is indeed our responsibility to make our artforms 'understandable' to the common people. After all........ an abstract painting or a sculpture, or an installation work...... can touch anyone's heart as much as a beautiful song can.

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