A proposal : A few words
It was an event of art fair at Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata. It began on 9 December 2010. Just out of a fad a few of us booked a table space. We didn’t bother about how many buyers would assemble over there during the fixed four days of the fair. Ours were sorta passing times in Parsian gultani but a la Bengali Babu’s adda so to say. But you know there’s that pinch of salt – the paintings and our word-tenni’s on these. If,……if there comes out any positive somethings, that’s the moto. And there lies my points of views to all of my pals. Clearly those are about the world of fine arts – paintwise:
- The art market is motionless and concerned persons are very much in anxiety.
- Willynilly the market condition the art activities cannot stop and will. Exhibitions cannot cease to exist, but the prices of materials and gallery rents are rising high day by day. Leave aside the holding of solo exhibition, even the group shows have become hard enough.
- The rare open-to-all or national shows have scanty scopes for the huge number of artists, the numbered art-workshops are no more, because of causes various.
- Private galleries have their own choices (feeling, tastes, thoughts etc.) which they regard as very important criteria for their exhibition sanctioning, of course there remains also a kind of reference pushes.
- The entire polymorphic art-ambience of ours has many ramifications. The lowest segment whispers a long list of different complaints — to some those are not right, to some those are not wrong. Immorality exists in the marrows of our society — to some it seems to be a part of the system.
- There is in vogue the saying of good work or bad work, but there is no specification, nor is there any definition, any universality. Success or failure depends upon the thoughts, tastes, feeling and many other things of the particular doer and the particular taker. The meaning of art comes out of the acceptance or the rejection. Added to this is monetary success. Plainly, the whole of the matter is under the guardianship of art and politics. One’s own existence in the open market depends upon one’s own power. Any art object becomes art or not depends upon which house or art centre acknowledges that art as art.
- Therefore, as art market is inactive, it is unknown or undiscovered whether there will be any such formation in favour of the artists that is contrary to all these.
- Is monetary success the only measuring-rod of becoming art or not becoming?
Now, if we can go on conducting open and above board discussions about these, there may come out a polytonal platform free from guruist mentality (of course this must not be a group where some obligations exist), such platform may indulge in participants’ own opinions. If the number of participants increases, a fund may be set up through the regular donations to meet various costs including the costs of conducting, when necessary, exhibitions, workshops, seminars etc. The platform also can help making through ultramodern technology ( which is now within our reach ) the participants’ work-profiles, documentation, etc. This platform can also make possible a regular communication with the larger artworld. And if any artist gets any mileage because of these activities, should there be any raising of objections at all?
The above contents of this letter perhaps are not unknown to many. Still somehow or other it is also unknown why some becomings do not become. Bad times like how call for a fresh start, okay? Welcome dear friends, let us start with renewed efforts our thinking practice once again !
– an un-addressed letter by Nilotpal Sinha dated 9 December 2010
(Translated from the original Bangla by DEBIPRASAD BASU, 22.12.2010). Please see below…