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Different strokes

Three artists from Germany offer their view of Bangalore

Photo: Murali Kumar K.

An eyeful German artists (L-R) Thomas Rindfleisch, Martina Rapedius and Matthias Einhoff

“My art will come out of my interaction with people in Bangalore,” says Matthias Einhoff, Co-Director Skulpturenpark, Berlin, and Lecturer at the Universität der Künste, Berlin.

He has come to Bangalore to spend six weeks at Jaaga, under the auspices of the artist-in-residence programmes supported by the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan.

For the time he is in Bangalore, he is expected to explore the city and its people and at the end of his stay develop a conceptual art installation.

In just four days, Matthias has bought himself a motor bike. “What else can I buy?” he says with a grin and has already begun to explore Bangalore. “On foot one is more exposed to difficulties, but on the bike one can see and experience much more,” he says sensibly.

“To me as a visitor, your city seems to have grown organically, with no planning. It is very interesting, like a maze and very unlike our planned western cities. But I already feel very welcome here,” he says.

Martina Rapedius and Thomas Rindfleisch are the other artists in the programme and have been in Bangalore for slightly longer. “We find everything different from Berlin,” they chorus.

“The traffic is the most powerful difference, it is loud, disorganised and frightening. We have never seen such terrible traffic chaos anywhere else in the world. But we do enjoy the greenery of the city and calling Bangalore the garden city is apt. We thoroughly enjoy the vegetarian food as we are vegetarians, even though it is a bit spicy for our palates. You do get Indian food in Europe, but it's mainly North Indian. So this is a new experience.”

What has struck the pair are the tall concrete and glass buildings coming up across the city.

“They are built mainly by women carrying loads on their heads wearing sarees,” says Thomas, “And that's a new mental image for me.”

Again both Martina and Thomas will conceptualize an art installation at the end of their stay using images of Bangalore as their landscape. “Your maps are not precise,” states Matthias uncomplainingly, “And so I got lost today in a maze of streets, which was good, because I stumbled on this shop which makes sports trophies and they had thousands of trophies right from the ‘60's kept in their storage area, which was very intriguing for me as an artist.”

Matthias' last installation was in Lahore, Pakistan which he named White Cube. Should be interesting to see what the three artists conjure up at the end of their residency in Bangalore. And judging from the turnout at Jaaga to see a slide show of their previous work, there has been a lot of interest generated by the concept.

MARIANNE DE NAZARETH

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