Commentaries of people belonging to diverse occupations and nationalities, from local hotelier Gangadharan Swamy to Mads Mengal from faraway Denmark, on the ongoing Kochi-Muziris Biennale and the city is now part of a unique installation.
The fascinating work ‘Silent Dialogues’ at the Aspinwall House in Fort Kochi, is the brain child of four artist-students of Raja Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, Mavelikkara. Leon Xavier, Manu Mohan, Ramesh Raman and Vishnu Manoharan put together the installation after speaking to people who visited the Kochi-Muziris Biennale. The project was guided by their tutor Shijo Jacob.
The artwork, completed last week, is an array of black-and-white photographs and hand-written notes juxtaposed by an audio commentary on the city.
“We recorded all the responses that we received from the biennale visitors. We also clicked their photos,” says Leon.
The four decided to display their own views as well. Alongside the work is the picture of the artist himself. While Gangadharan Swamy says that the ongoing three-month festival has given a fresh lease of life to Fort Kochi, Ramesh notes that, “he basically means that his business is prospering lately.”
C J Antony, a resident of Vallarpadom, says that he is fearful of the sea tides gulping the city by 2020, while Gabri and Obri from Canada note that the people here have a habit of beginning their sentences with a ‘yes’. P S Sunil, a civil police officer, is heard commenting on an aspect of crime in the city: “Organise and fight against the flourishing hooch business in the city,” he says. The art students say that their basic aim was to give a single platform to the divergent views on a historic occasion.