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The Dadaist in Didi

india Updated: Apr 04, 2011 23:06 IST

Trust Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to put a Muse to good use. Ms Banerjee doodles, as we all know, every time she manages a breather from her otherwise single-minded pursuit of dislodging the Left Front government. Over time, these have given way to serious strokes, with the leader reportedly getting familiar with mediums like acrylic and charcoal. Some of those paintings are now being showcased at an exhibition, the proceeds from the sales of which will enrich not only the aesthetics of 'the people' but also her party coffers.

Since it is the 'cause' that has propelled the exhibition (aptly named Twenty-Five Hours a Day) to news, there is not much sense in analysing Ms Banerjee's interpretation of nature in her artworks. Artist Shuvaprasanna, also curator of the exhibition, says as much when he points out that the paintings are worth appreciating for the 'passion, zeal, grit' that shines forth. And to think that us laypersons (and makers of small cars) thought that the Trinamool leader had the length and breadth of an entire state and its people as a broad-enough canvas to give expression to her fiery passion through performance art forms such as bandhs, fasts and other forms of avant garde agit-prop, post-Dadaist disruption.

Ms Banerjee's forays into aesthetics might have been designed to prove one point: that she is capable of shouldering the responsibility of leading a state that prides itself on its intellectual bearings and that she would be as sincere a proponent of kaalchar as its current office-bearer. Which leaves us only with a single thought: if pictures are indeed worth a thousand words, will we, in future, hear less and see more from the beloved Didi?