You can walk into a folktale at BKC this week, as acclaimed artist Sudarshan Shetty’s second public art installation, ‘a song a story’, goes on display there.
The installation features two life-size traditional wooden houses and two videos playing simultaneously on separate screens.
The story is about a woman who has a great story and a song, but hasn’t shared them with anyone. The story and song seek revenge and turn themselves into an umbrella and pair of shoes.
When her husband comes home in the evening, he sees the umbrella and shoes and thinks she’s cheating on him. The story so far plays out in the first ‘house’.
Then it moves next door, as the angry husband heads to the ‘temple of lights’, where lights from every household converse with each other. The light from the couple’s house is the last to arrive, and tells the other lights what really happened. The husband realises his mistake, returns home, and asks her about the story and the song. But they are gone.
“The moral of the story thus is that if you have a story, tell it, and if you have a song, sing it,” Shetty says.
The layered work draws on a folk tale from Karnataka, and relates particularly to dying folk traditions of oral history, drama and storytelling.
The process of creating this work has its own story. Each element of the installations was sourced from Chor Bazaar, a second-hand goods market, because Shetty wanted every piece to come from another place with histories of its own.
“Recreating antiques is also a way of preserving our heritage,” Shetty says.
His installation, incidentally, was created for the Rolls Royce Art Programme, making Shetty the first Indian artist selected by the global initiative to promote art.
WHAT: A song a story, a public art installation
WHERE: Maker Maxity, Bandra-Kurla Complex
WHEN: November 18 to 25, 9.30 am to 7.30 pm
ENTRY IS FREE