The Month That Was
by Franck Barthelemy
SKE conducts programmes to educate art to the younger generations by regularly inviting schools to visit the shows they organize. Till 10th December, Suboverseer, Ambarish TV, Highcourt, Battery, Naatikothambari and others, the latest solo show by Sheela Gowda will surely excite kids' imagination … and adults' too. Once you enter the premises of the exhibition, you dig into a world with different references. Sheela's solos always take the viewers from inside. The viewer watches and feels uncomfortable. I do not see beautiful paintings and I do not see attracting colours. Aesthetic is clearly not the reason why Sheela is into art. But I am attracted to her works. I feel as if I am made of iron and cannot resist the attraction of the magnet she creates. From Found Object till Protest My Son, the viewer looks for his/her own interpretation. Sheela is a master in questioning us. She captures the violence of the society, and captures the energy of those who fight for their lost and forgotten causes. Take Protest My Son, a huge image of the Hakki Pikki, a forgotten tribe of bird hunters, demonstrating for their basic rights to live their way … But what is 'their way'? From living their way they now strive to survive. Their hunting skills are no longer used to hunt birds but urban customers who are in search of a magic wand to buy in order to heal one of their self created urban citizen infirmities. Sheela put the changes right in front of us with force. Well done to say the least!
Sumukha brought to us the latest works by Mukesh Sharma, The Keyboard of Small Things. In this exhibition, Mukesh shows the viewer how technology has taken over and made our lives so interconnected. There are networks of everything everywhere. Are you not part of it? Rush to your computer, you are probably abnormal or maybe a rebel. I find a kind of broken romance, something the viewer/reader wants to rebuild. Mukesh plays with the smallest ingredients of our lives with sparkling colours and hidden narratives. He breaks his stories in small bits and deconstructs his representation and leaves it to the viewers. A well put together exhibition. Impatient to see the next one.
The Alliance Française put together a great festival of dance inviting French and Indian troupes to share with us the best of contemporary performances. The Bangalore based Attakkalari showed us a piece from their recent European tour, MeiDhwani - Echoes of the Body. The company danced on urban music notes by Patrick Sebag and Yotam Agam and created on stage a subtle blend of west-meets-east. Whether in a city or a rural environment, the body moves and adjusts harmoniously. The body reacts to our emotions, with violence or sensitivity. The body is our medium. Meidhwani captured that magic in front of a mesmerized audience! The next day, Dominique Boivin, the French choreographer, and Philippe Priasso, the performer, invited us to Transports Exceptionnels, an encounter between a man and an excavator. For about 20 minutes, I am convinced we had seen a love story between a machine and a man. Hats off to the acrobats!
The streets of Bangalore enjoyed more animations than usual with LiveArt, a festival of performance art of 25 artists from all over the world gathered in the city to share ideas and opinions about their practises. Presentations, workshops and performances surprised more than one, in the streets and in the parks. A nice way to bring art to the non aficionados. And looking at the smiles of passersby on Lavelle Road on a fine early morning, it was a success.
And Let There Be Lights Photography agency is organizing from 13th to 15th December at the British Library an exhibition of street photographs by French photographer Bruno Sauerwein. Bruno spent weeks in the streets of Tamil Nadu, at dusk where he captured the creatures of the night. They are humans, they are machines, or a combination of the two. Bruno gifts the viewers stolen moments of life where emotions meet a sure sense of aesthetic, as the artist says 'a kind of magic'. For his first solo exhibition in India, Bruno offers the proceeds of the sale to Artysan, a vocational academy for destitute children.