A voiceless class in a timeless mould

A voiceless class in a timeless mould

Untouched by the muses of the passersby, undisturbed by the prejudices of the observers, uninterested in the charms of his environment, a man sits in peace with his head hanging down, in the heart of MG Road — the Rangoli Art Centre.

His disassociation from the happenings at the Centre does not fail to kindle curiosity. For, he is inanimate, not lifeless. Made of cement, he represents the obsession of his creator, narrating mute stories of an ignored working class, which had its part to play even in the creation of the Centre.

Christened ‘At Rest, At Last’ by his master, Amir Moslemzadeh, he is not just a sculpture. He is the alphabet Amir uses to articulate his learnings about the working class over the years. He is the symbol of the citymakers, now, pleasantly placed on that lawn.

Obsessed with this class, Amir, an Iranian student at the Chitrakala Parishat, did not begin work on this sculpture knowing it would occupy a prime location in Bangalore.

Six months ago, when the work on this piece began, he wanted it to represent a class he thinks lacks a voice. A class he thinks needs more appreciation.

Today, if the attention his sculpture garners at the Art Centre and the kind of emotions it evokes is any measure, then he has succeeded in communicating his thoughts more than just aptly.

That his work was picked up among many by Surekha, the curator of the Centre, whose keen eye for interesting art is reflected across the facility, is something Amir is thankful for.

“It was great that she wanted my work to be displayed here. I love the fact that the boulevard displays artistic cultural work. I gifted it to the centre as I felt that it would fit perfectly with the setting,” he said.

Describing the process of creating the sculpture, he said it was far from easy. “First, the skeleton was crafted from metal, clay and plaster of paris, then it was finally cast in cement,” Amir says, adding that he chose cement over fibre glass despite the latter being more easy to work with, because cement symbolises the common working man.

In India since 2009, Amir also expresses his fascination for Indian artwork. “The Dravidian (Southern Indian) style is special. I have visited Hubli, Hampi, and other places in and around Karnataka. There is so much to learn from here,” he said, adding that he admires artists like Anish Kapoor and the late M F Hussain, who inspire him. 

His idol from Iran is Parviz Tanavoli, whose work Amir describes as awe-inspiring.
Amir will leave Bangalore in a month. But the sculpture won’t.

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