Some food for thought

Intriguing Concepts

Art has no language and is beyond borders — this was what Guy Claverie, a French artist, tried to say at his talk on ‘Contemporary Art in Public Spaces’. The talk was held at the NGMA Auditorium recently and attended by people from all sections of the society.

Guy demonstrated various pieces of contemporary art, which had been installed and exhibited at various Metro stations in France. He went on to explain them in the context of a layman.

“In one of the pieces, the artist is trying to explain the concept of space through his art. He has drawn a cavern at one of the Metro stations, with an oval-shaped image and finger imprints on either side of it — which implies that finger imprints were the first works of art in history. This brings in the magical aspect of space. If you place yourself in the centre of a space, you will be able to see the first geometrical figure — the oval,” he says.

He adds that in the centre, the artist has written me and outside that, he has written la. The word me denotes that the artist is expressing himself in the forefront and la denotes his idea of the real world. “The space between these two words is open to a wide array of interpretations, which is the journey of art. This was a very complex piece and it took us sometime to explain it to
people,” adds Guy.

The floor was open to discussion and questions. Many could be seen putting their point across on a particular topic. “I feel that some of these paintings revolve around a very complex idea and the layman might just lose interest,” points out Sneha
Kumar, an artist.

The next piece of art that Guy showed was made by a French artist named Paumini. He had drawn a pillar, which was the first symbol of governance as well as art. The artist also looks at it as a cultural symbol. “He made it in such a manner that it does not reach the ceiling. There is a clear break between the pillar and the ceiling. The artist is trying to denote that happiness lies down there and one does not have to go up for it,” he explains.

The audience could be seen interacting with him and laughing at the jokes he cracked. “It was a very enlightening session. The effort put by the French artists to bring art into the public realm is a great way to make the common man understand art. I have learnt a lot from this session and would also like our Indian artists to do something similar,” sums up Aarti, an art student.

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