It was the festive season again. They both knew they now would need to leave their beloved sack and get to the job. They began with the simplest things – digging the closets, cleaning drawers and finally reaching the basement to see if there was anything they don’t use any more. Midst browsing through the long forgotten things, they stumbled upon something and then some more. Things which were clearly outmoded & forgotten, they brushed off the dust and found the most expensive of them, the one they had never wanted to let go – The Lost Time.
In celebration of 11 years of JLF (Jaipur Literature Festival) and inspired by one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, the French novelist, critic, and essayist – Marcel Proust and his most prominent work ‘À la recherche du temps perdu’ – In Search of Lost Time, two self taught Jaipur artists – Ritu & Surya Singh in collaboration with a French artist – Nicolas Henry decided to create installations & experiences from scrap and discards by putting up an eccentric Indo – French collaboration – Theater of Stories at the Roots Hall near Poolside at Hotel Clarks Amer in Jaipur.
“‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes’, these silver words by Marcel Proust inspired us to rise over our own perspective and constitute a space that narrates the recollections & experiences of childhood of all those who belong to this generation”, said Jaipur based Ritu Singh while explaining to us the vision of her art extravaganza.
An assortment of archaic treasures like old clock-boxes, smell of dried flowers, the lost sheen of antique telephones, fading sound of wooden bangle boxes, scraps of memorandums, old televisions, doll houses & photographs come together to create a dim-lit world of involuntary memories which happens to be a manifestation of thoughts that peeped inside the heads of these geniuses.
Once you step out of the nostalgia, you enter a whimsical world of Nicolas Henry – a French writer, photographer & artist who has taken his photographs from various parts of Morocco, India, Istanbul, Cambodia and dressed them with his stupendous style of Art Nouveau.
‘This art does not have a name. It is something which is mine and very close to my heart, it narrates my love for travel, varied cultures, different kinds of people and story telling. This, for me, is like meditation’
~ Nicolas Henry, The French Artist displaying his work at Theatre of Stories in Clarks Amer.
In celebration of 11 years of JLF, the exhibition brings together a set of people who believe in characters, find inspiration from the plots and are driven by the narratives. The display has various segments from Supershaktimaan- which is a photographic series by Nicolas Henry who walks you through an adventurous fairy-tale narrative which has a hero, heroine & a villain. The hero sets on a venture to save the world which is full of colors, festivals, magnificent architecture, camels, elephants, urban & rural lives, old palaces, dizzy dips in step wells, exotic ruins and heaps of trash all created with things like cotton, papers, discarded fabrics which contains a lot of Rajasthan’s essence like the silver & golden borders of Gotapatti, remains of red bandhani, photographs of streets, Hawamahal and the like. The collaborative art of Surya, Ritu & Nicolas is an eerie melange of the elements of Symbolism, Primitivism, and Expressionism.
The space hosts a number of pop-ups of brands from across the country, and each has in it a soupçon of reincarnation. Whether it’s the traditional block prints of Brigitte Singh, Ecru -a lifestyle store of Kuwait and a design house from Surat with their varied range or the unique sets of furniture by Baro, they all feel and smell of a waning art that is pleading to be saved.
The show is included under the umbrella of art@ZEEJLF.
P.S. The Exhibition continues till February 28, 2018
Time: 11.00 am to 5 pm daily (Sunday closed)
Venue: Roots Hall by the Poolside, Hotel Clarks Amer, Jaipur
Supported by Art at ZEE JLF
You can visit from the 4th of January until the 28 of February.