The art of ignorance


Might be Monday morning annoys people to get back to the same workstation, artists on the other hand do not feel the same way. To be precise, working days of artists do not have any proper specification. True artists work when they want to and the results may vary.

Every single person has a quality to create something but according to time and conditions, the quality transforms into capability to earn only money. Eventually, most of the people end up their lives like androids which are programmed to follow the same pattern of lifestyle. It is quite tragic that the inborn quality of a person is assassinated by the nature of today’s society. Pablo Picasso once said ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. The quote exactly hits the bull’s eye. Many talented persons have to give up their inner calibre as capitalism is eating up everything. In that way, art is easily commodified way before it occupies its own space in the present world. One of the examples would be the recent scandal case of Harvey Weinstein. The American film producer and the big fish of Hollywood had been exercising the true power of capitalism and sexually dominated many talented women. Many of the renowned Hollywood actresses had been the victims of sexual abuse and rape just to get the break under Harvey’s production house. Some of the actresses even crafted the whole idea and structure of the film they worked in but later all the credit went to Harvey, because he has a company, a production house that can transform an artist to a star. Harvey would still be continuing his way of doing business if few actresses had not raised their voices against him for sexual harassment. Now more than 50 actresses have come forward to reveal their sexual harassment stories and Harvey is in big trouble. Mr Weinstein never understood the artist behind the actresses, for him they were just a thing, a commodity. This is how the art and artist are commodified and people had been ignorant about it.

With rise in commercialisation, either people are still ignorant or pretending to be, in accepting the true aesthetics of art. And this is happening throughout the world and the best example is of course Hollywood. Far away from the west, cinema is living larger than life in India because of its commercial aspects while other forms of art are becoming less important, and theatre is one of them. When it comes to theatre, Manipur is one of the most talked about with the finest plays and dramas that have moved the world. Names of Heisnam Kanhailal and Ratan Thiyam have become synonymous with theatre of the world and their masterpieces are timeless. Last year, Heisnam Kanhailal was fighting with an illness but none of the government authorities had given their concern. He expired last year on October 6. He was one of the greatest personalities of Manipur and the state government had neither supported anything while he was alive nor given any significant tribute after his death. In the meantime, a statue of Oja Kanhailal has been made at Badungduppa Kalakendra, Rampur, Assam. While Manipur is busy enough in acting like a famous society, Assam has given tribute to one of our greatest figures of theatre.

The quality of appreciation in the people of Manipur is almost defunct, and somehow, they are not conscious enough to even clap when in a function or a ceremony. On the contrary, in Assam, anyone can witness a long line of lighted candles all through the way on the road sides from airport to the main city of Guwahati just give tribute to Bhupen Hazarika. People of Manipur should watch how the legendary artist of Assam is unanimously appreciated. This is the point of ignorance in Manipur. Political leaders often speak about art and aesthetics in most of the functions related to art and culture, however it would be appropriate to say that those are the speeches. The real value of artists is missing and the truth is ignored floating too much in the mood of limelight. To be serious, Manipur should give much more importance to the legendary artists of the state rather than blindly assimilating the world of fame.

Leader Writer: Khogen Khoibam

Source: Imphal Free Press


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