The writer stood for a while, reading select lines from his own poem displayed as an introduction to an installation art at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. Then, K Satchidanandan moved ahead to see the ensuing exhibits at the gallery.
It was at Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi today that the renowned litterateur saw the work of Atul Dodiya, whose work is partly indebted to one of Satchidanandan’s own poems. The Mumbai-based Dodiya’s art work, which is a collection of photographs taken by him around the world, showcases a photocopy carrying the written work titled ‘The Poet to Poetry’.
The English translation of the Malayalam poem is a preamble to the work of Dodiya, even as it does not mention the name of the writer. Satchidanandan took time to re-read the lines, which 53-year-old Dodiya, a J J School of Arts graduate, had hailed as ‘totally about the creative process’.
Delhi-based Satchidanandan, 66, did know that the ongoing three-month art festival in his native Kerala figures a section that is inspired from a portion of his collection that was published in 2005 under the title ‘Stammer and Other Poems’.
“I don’t personally know Dodiya, but, yes, I know the artist,” Satchidanandan said, with a streak of amusement. “But quite a few faces in the set of his images here are my friends or acquaintances.”
The lines are about a poet quarrelling with his poetry that “obstinately refuses to do what he wants it to do”, according to Satchidanandan. “The poem tries to reveal the element of unexpectedness and wonder in art that I so much believe in.”
As for the biennale overall, the poet-translator-playwright said it gives the experience of art marrying reality. “The biennale gives one the impression that art is basically an extension of reality. More often than not, the visitor will take an artistic work for another piece of article - and vice versa,” he said.
The thee-month art show, which began on 12/12/12, is capable of giving the visitor an idea about the experiments happening across the world in the fields of installation and video art, Satchidanandan said. “It can teach us how visual art can stir all our five senses.”