“To me the most extra ordinary thing was the audience though; day laborers, rickshaw pullers, girls and women from nearby community and many others. They were the sole life of the exhibition. A whole lot can be written solely on audience. About the way they were looking at each and every art work, talking among themselves, the honesty of “I -don’t -understand –that- thing -at – all” expression and also the joy and happiness of understanding a particular art piece”
I am not in a position to write either about artists or about art and let alone a community of artists. That will be a whole lot to deal with. But fortunately I have been privileged to come close with some artists for a significant amount of time which has injected a little bit courage into me to dare write about art and artists. What will follow are just my subjective thoughts and feelings of how I feel and think about this community of artists’ works. Yes, blog posts are all about personal experience and realization. These subjective opinions and thoughts might even vary from the ones of the artists’ themselves. That’s why this disclaimer is in place.
Uthan , a contemporary art hub, has recently organized (by recently I mean the time before COVID-19) two installation art exhibitions one in a Brick field and another in Bash Potti, not so far from Bosila bridge. I am trying to give the readers an idea about where in the real world these two exhibitions were held. Because I tend to make everything very abstract and conceptual when I start writing about something especially about art and literature. But as these two exhibitions were about everyday life objects, struggles and sites I intend to ground myself in reality.
I have directly brought the matter of exhibitions because that’s how I understood the essence and meaning of the works the artists and curator have done. They have worked very hard to transform a brick field into an atypical gallery of art. It’s very amazing how artists and curator have morphed each and every component like piles of bricks, wheelbarrows, the beds where workers sleep, the in -between space where the bricks are burnt, the torn and worn out clothes into a piece of art. I realize, the artists must I presume, those objects already had artistic composition. The artists and curator have just readjusted, reconfigured, retouched appropriately to bring out a more focused aura and vibration in them.
To me the most extra ordinary thing was the audience though; day laborers, rickshaw pullers, girls and women from nearby community and many others. They were the sole life of the exhibition. A whole lot can be written solely on audience only. About the way they were looking at each and every art work, talking among themselves, the honesty of “I -don’t -understand –that- thing -at – all” expression and also the joy and happiness of understanding a particular art work. Their ever familiar brick field has suddenly become something unfamiliar which is to be re-familiarized again.
The audiences were of same nature in the Bash Potti exhibition. The working people who have never been in a typical art gallery or museum. The art objects the artists have brought out of bamboo were appropriate to the environment. The placement of the art works was so appropriate that they became wholly integrated with nature.
To me and I think to most of us, Nature in its each and every object with their own objecthood is a vast installation art exhibition itself. But sometimes the harmony gets disturbed and the exhibition becomes chaotic. There arise some artists and curator to bring back the harmony and make something cosmic out of chaotic. The artists and curator of Uthan have done something like that as to my understanding. Though it seems to me my very own overstatement in comparison to the “Nature as Art & Artist Herself” idea.
The whole world has lost the harmony now due to COVID 19. The installation art project of Nature seems to be chaotic and out of joints. They are all artists who are working hard and upto the capacity they have, to bring back the harmony and balance again. I didn’t think the writing will end like this. But I think this is a happy ending, if not, it will be in the coming days. Hopefully. When anomalies, like COVID -19, will be eliminated with bringing back unadulterated Nature which we never deserved. Yet the undeserving gets the most.
INSTALLATION ART IN BRICK FIELD 2019, Shyamlashi, Dhaka
Participating Artists: Habibur Rahman Palas ,Alok Rajbonshi ,Liton Paul Rony , Suborna Paul, Subas Ahmed ,Sutopa Kar , Towfiqur Rahman,Md Yasin , Naziat Nahid Mishu, Md Kawsher Ahmed Reza, Gobinda Pal, Tanver Mahmud.
Construction in Layers, Installation art at Bash Potti, Ati Bazar Bash Potti, Ati Bazar
Participating Artists: Alok Rajbongshi, Paul Gobinda, Habibur Rahman Palas, Halimul Islam Khokon,Liton Paul Rony,Mahmuda Khandakar, Sanad Biswas, Suborna Paul, Syed Tareq Rahman, Tanvir Mahmud, Towfiqur Rahman
Exhibitions Curated By: Towfiqur Rahman