Artists: Notes on Art Making

‘Talk’, however has a different route of development. I consider the human give and takes originate from the basic fear for the ‘other’. The other has to be physically obliterated in order to prove ones existence. At the same time, the ‘other’ has to be engaged in a more intellectual and spiritual plane for asserting the existential aspects of a being. Here one has to accommodate the other even if one is not really willing to do it. Then it results into a game; a cat and mouse game as if one were playing the role of Tom and Jerry, the famous animated cartoon.

In the level of ideation, a human being starts from a scratch. This is developed into well formed thoughts through various negotiations and deliberations. In order to convince the other and thereby overcome the fear of the other, one has to communicate. This desire to communicate is the basis of all creations, whether it is visual art or any other form of art. The desire to communicate is predicated with the fear as I have stated in the beginning. So the desire and fear play a crucial role in the existential formation or the societal existence of a human being.

Keeping my usual sense of humor intact, in ‘Talk’ too I deal with the issue of fear and desire through a dialogue between two claymationed figures. There are two heads seen facing each other and perched on two pedestals. The appearance of the pedestal is very crucial here as each human being tries to place him/herself on a particular pedestal to ideate and communicate. The figures are just clay lumps in the beginning, reminding the viewer of the mythology of origins. The man was created from clay. When one of the figures takes shape into a human head and look at the other, he turns into a lump of clay. This game is played between them for sometime as if they were trying to outwit each other.

Then comes the time of reconciliation. To assert one’s existence, one has to accept the other intellectually, if not physically. One figure opens its mouth and projects a mouse. Then suddenly the other person transforms into a cat as if to accept the other person’s offering. However, the first person withdraws the cat. Then the cat man becomes a monkey; a kind of parallel drawn between a monkey and a fool. The other is made a fool here. But the give and take does not end there. They try to look at each other normally as if no offence was done between each other. It is a moment of reconciliation.

Now it is the first clay man’s job to restart the argument. He produces an egg from his mouth. The other clay man turns into a crow. Somehow he manages to get that egg from the other person’s mouth. They are happy. Now, as if to entertain and allure the other the offering of the mouse is again done. The other man turns into a cat. But this time the mouse does not want to go into the mouth of the cat. So he jumps over the head of the cat man. May be an argument is hoodwinked or a self defeating argument is made. They become donkeys in the process. Now it is the first person’s duty to offer a cat instead of a mouse. Then the other person gives a pail of milk. He does not offer a mouse in return!

This game goes on. The game of desire and the game of fear. As an artist, I observe the intellectual and aesthetical games played out in the scene, mostly in this way. But I would like to go more into a philosophical plane by positing these figures in a no-man’s land. They could be arguing on the border issue. They may be trying to engage themselves in a love game. They may be talking about the ruthlessness of the society. They may be even talking communism. But this dialogue comes out of the fear. And each one of them wants to outwit the other.

In my opinion, fear and desire are two philosophical as well as empirical strategies developed by the human beings to justify themselves in the race for survival. There is an irony in it. There is humor in it. However, what makes me to do this, beyond the initial pleasure of seeing two claymationed figures in a funny situation, is the tragedy of human lives. In their constant effort to survive they become victims of their own making. This is a never ending process. The viewer can attach any kind of situation and interpret this work according to their socio-cultural making.

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