Kochi: Renowned dancer and activist Mallika Sarabhai has said that a great number of artists in the country have turned advertisers in the era of capitalism.
She said that art nowadays has become uncritical unlike old times where it educated people and critiqued dominant narratives.
She was speaking after inaugurating the Poetry Installation, an exhibition of an innovative art form, which compiles poetry with sculptor and sounds, at Durbar Hall here.
She said she always found Kerala to be different but felt disappointed when the state too went after populism. However, she praised the works in display, for they represent the present times. “The works on display reflect our present condition where we have lost our voice and are deafened by noise,” she said.
She praised the blend of poetry and sculptor as “exciting.” Crediting the Kochi Muziris Biennale for inspiring such innovative attempts in art, Sarabhai called for more such “cross-pollinated” works.
She requested Kochi Biennale Foundation president Bose Krishnamachari, who was among the audience, to include more performance-based art works in the next edition of the bi-annual contemporary art event.
Chairing the function, former minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, M.A. Baby MLA said art is becoming popular in the state like never before in its history.
“Though, in general, the state lacks an aesthetic literacy, a serious culture of appreciating art is being nurtured here,” he said.
Tribal leader and activist C.K. Janu also addressed the gathering. Terming poetry 'revolution', she said the literary form reflects human beings' real issues. She also recited a poem, titled 'Njan enna Sthree' (I, the woman) on the stage, for the first time in her life.
Kochi Corporation Mayor B. Bhadra, Poetry Installation director Vinod Krishna, project designer P. Raveendranath and poet Ajeesh Dasan spoke on the occasion.
The unique installation, conceived by director Vinod Krishna, is based on two poems – 'Desiya Mrigam' (National Animal) by Ajeesh Dasan and 'Sabda Mahasamudram' (The Buzzing Sea of Little Sounds) by S. Kalesh.
The three dimensional installations, combining sculpture, sounds, and poetry, are a loud statement about the times we are living in and mark strong protest against growing trends of fascism, said Vinod who directed the internationally-acclaimed film 'Mayyan Kalam', which was screened at the Toronto Film Festival and the World Social Forum.
The sound mixing for the installation was done by Bollywood sound designer Ranganath Ravee who has worked for films such as 'Dhoom-3', 'Bang Bang', and 'Shutter' while art direction is by Gabriel George.
The exhibition, which would be open from 10 am to 7 pm, will conclude on June 27.