Silence of Furies and Sorrows – Pages of a Burning City – 1995

An exhibition of installations and performance at Venkattappa Gallery, Banglaore.

Participating Artists : Raghavendra Rao, Ravisankar Rao, Amrish, Ramesh Chandra, Shantamani, Nandakishore, Tripura Kashyap, and C.F. John

Eight artists (six visual artists, a contemporary danseuse  and a sound/light artiste) of Bangalore came together to envisage and execute a ‘group installation’ after the communal riots in Bangalore, through a number of visits to the areas and interviews and workshops with the affected people.

Excerpts from the catalogue of the exhibition- 

“I survive in the midst of the sea, Alone and so crazily wounded, So solely persisting, woundedly abandoned”

The violence in our city in recent times motivated a group of artists to find forms to express the agony as well as the inherent hope of a people subjected to the brutality of communalist and fundamentalist forces. The riots left the city with many raw wounds. The dead were reduced to numbers in the media. Some were compensated. Many stories remained unheard. The fire was extinguished and we were left with smouldering ashes and ravaged hearts recounting losses of limbs and loved ones.

The perception of colour is reduced to a minimal palate earth colours, black and white, creating a uniform scheme of starkness. Images from the past recollect many forgotten faiths, brick walls that divide us are transformed into pillars with archetypal symbols that sustain our existence. Fragments from the media are woven into collages of hopes and anguish. Tangled bodies of steel trace contours of humans hung like animal carcass. While a black mother is reconstructed with coal, a Jataka tale of a compassionate Sala tree is retold in clay by the riot affected children. Reasoning, remembering and resisting the violence of our times.

This is yet another attempt to sustain the humanity with faiths and bind us, as we refuse to let the politics of hatred and intolerance ruin us.

– Suresh Jayaram (Art Critic & Art Historian)


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