By Riddhi Doshi
Photography: Courtesy Rolls-Royce
Read Time: 1 min 30 secs
Artist Sudarshan Shetty kindles a nuanced sensitivity via his installation-art ‘a song a story’ keeping the narrative direct and emotionally engaging…
Art has the power that can unleash, impact; even completely change the status quo in society.
Here’s a story about a woman living in a faraway village. She has a great story and a song, but hasn’t shared these with anyone. Irritated, the story and the song seek revenge and transform into a pair of shoes and an umbrella.
When her husband arrives home from work, he sees the umbrella and shoes outside his house and thinks that she is cheating on him. Annoyed, he goes to the temple of lights, where lights from every household in the village meet and converse with each other. When he listens to the light from his house narrating the day’s happenings, he realizes his mistake and goes back home to his wife and enquires about the story and the song. But they are gone. The wife doesn’t remember anything! “The moral of the story thus is that if you have a story, tell it; and a song, sing it,” says artist Sudarshan Shetty.
He transforms this folk tale in Karnataka into a public art installation with two life-size sets – one, the house and the other, the temple along with two videos playing simultaneously on separate screens, but with a single soundtrack. The videos depict the same story, acted by artists from different angles; the layered work admirably highlighting the tradition of retelling folk stories.
Another dimension is added via the process of creation, where each piece from which the installations are made is sourced from Chor Bazaar, a second-hand goods market – again, each of them coming aboard with their own stories. “This comes from the idea of bringing an epic into the story,” says Sudarshan. Chor Bazaar and artisans and vendors from there also make an important point. “I think creating antique is also an important practice in preserving our heritage,” he concludes.
Created for the prestigious Rolls Royce Art Programme, a first for any Indian artist, it is being exhibited in Mumbai for a week, after which it will find pride of place at the India Art Fair, Delhi in February.
WHERE: Maker Maxity, North Avenue, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai
WHEN: November 18 - November 25, 9.30 am to 7.30 pm
ENTRY IS FREE