Explore your identity via art

ByProma Chakraborty

May 31, 2019

Painting, photography, comedy, theatre, fashion — there is something for everyone at the second edition of the I AM — Identity Art Marathon

Unfolding over 24 days, the I AM — Identity Art Marathon  art festival will hold a multitude of events, including exhibitions, talks, walks, live sessions and workshops. The idea is to give the viewers an immersive experience, both visual and performance-based, that helps them engage and evolve.

For curator Aakshat Sinha, instead of specialising, artists should rather work on different mediums. Otherwise, he feels that it deteriorate the wholesome nature of an individual.

“Our identity is a sum total of our experiences. The idea of the festival is to help us experience many, rather than just one specific form of art. Art has the power to infect us with ideas. It forces us to act and helps us evolve. Let’s make our experiences enriching to find out who we really are,” he says.

Quite naturally, the festival explores the question of identity as its prime theme. Despite not making a conscious choice, Sinha believes it has happened inherently in all the selections that he has done.

This is reflected in the works at each of the four exhibitions, which include both paintings and photographs. Featuring figurative and abstract artworks, these exhibitions are on display for six days each.

In an attempt to populate the art gallery with multi-disciplinary art forms, the festival features almost 40 events, including workshops on painting, film making, theatre, music, cartoon, doodling, animation, resin art and book cover design.

Putting together  different forms of art in a gallery space, the festival also includes stand-up performance by Rajneesh Kapoor, humorous storytelling and other events like storytelling through dance by Divya Goswami. The highlights of the event would be Tassavurr — a poetry evening hosted by Raz Dehalwi and Musical Kaleidoscope with 13 poets — and a concert by Belorussian singer Natallia Balshakova.

“Art galleries are like some pristine temples where people are hesitant to enter”, says Sinha and in order to engage with the layman, he has curated a host of such interactive events.

Apart from these there will also be interactive and informative talks by Alka Raghuvanshi on Sarees of India, along with three travel tales — Shikhant Sablania on his eight-month road trip from Cape Town to Cairo, Aftab Hussain on hitchhiking through Russia and Sonali Soni Pal on her craft trails in search of art clusters in rural India.

Looking back at the first edition, which spanned across 15 days, Sinha believes it has moved beyond its past limitations and has a wider reach. He hopes that the festival not only enriches the experience of viewers but also of artists.

The festival is on at Arpana Fine Art Gallery till June 16