Bhubaneswar: Ever wondered how artists look at Odisha? How do the ones coming from abroad perceive our state? Sounds intriguing, isn’t it? City-based artists have collaborated to portray Bhubaneswar from their perspective in the exhibition-cum-event, 0674 -Artists Response to the City.
“It (0674) is the STD code of our city and I think it’s a unique identity number for Bhubaneswar. This event focuses not just on artists but any creative person with ideas. We thought of giving the event a name that would stand for city’s uniqueness and couldn’t find anything better and quirky,” said Veejayant Dash, curator of 0674.
The event will exhibit various creations of artists from different fields. “People from different walks of life like architecture, archaeology, filmmaking, journalism, social advocacy, and poetry have collaborated with students and created something about the city out of their experience,” he said.
Speaking about how it started, he said that this idea struck him around six months ago. “I reached out to people and they collaborated, researched, spoke to archaeologists, clicked pictures, interviewed denizens, explored the city, discovered stories they never knew and finally came up with their artwork. I involved people from diverse fields because everyone perceives the city differently,” he said.
Filmmaker Kapilash Bhuiyan along with an art student and a video editor, came up with a seven-minute video installation. “This video installation revolves around history of Bhubaneswar. From Kalinga War to the temple architecture that started in 6th century to how it grew to its pinnacle in 12th century when Lingaraj temple was built, all of it is covered. It also talks about the city on the verge of becoming smart city and how are we going about it.”
Poet Ute Eisinger from Austria contributed a poem on her experience in Bhubaneswar on the basis of which Veejayant Dash is working on a sculpture, which according to him, is an abstract approach to a realistic image. “Odisha has such an amazing history. I have read a lot about it and Jayanta Mahapatra’s poems are my favorites. When he (Veejayant) asked me to write something, I had to probe deeper into my own mind so as to bring out the best of Bhubaneswar from my perception. This is one interesting event titillating creative minds to bring out their best,” said Ute.
This event would have audio installations by Dr Sruti Mohapatra, visuals of Kalinga War by Jayant Kumar Das, a painting on Rajendra Panda’s poem on Bhubaneswar and a two-and-a-half minute video titled ‘Curious Place of Missing Elephants’ by architect Bandish Patro. Also on display are photographs portraying diversity of Bhubaneswar, prints and paintings about Sisupalgarh and the city’s water quality and sculptures depicting varied emotions of city dwellers.
“Sambhuram Bhutra is doing an exceptional piece. He thinks Bhubaneswar is a bull-friendly city so he created miniature temples and buildings in wood giving the shape of a bull,” said Veejayant. He further said that poets from Bhubaneswar Poetry Club are also performing on the last day of this week-long event.
The event was inaugurated here today at the Lalit Kala Akademi with a performance by three city-based artists narrating the ‘khatti’ culture— the old days of chit-chat over tea, food and how it changed with time.