Saturday, November 20, 2010

My article on Anish Kapoor in Tehelka

Tehelka has published a backgrounder by me about Anish Kapoor in advance of the artist's shows in Delhi and Bombay. It can be read here. Tehelka, as the name suggests, likes sensationalism, and I guess they found my article a bit tame. To compensate, they've picked the most potentially controversial bits for the blurbs, and somewhat misrepresented my words in the intro.
"Girish Shahane traces his decades of evolution and explains why Bombay, and not Delhi, will have the real show", the introduction reads. While I've said the Bombay show was planned first, and will have the larger pieces because of the limitations of the Delhi NGMA's new wing, by no means do I believe there's a 'real show' and a 'false show' involved. I suspect the Bombay show will be more spectacular because of the scale allowed by the venue, but there will be plenty of interest in the Delhi display as well. Anish Kapoor isn't going to send second rate work for an exhibition in India's premier museum of modern art.
I also can't understand the meaning of the headline, 'His unsunny passage to India'.

Update: After seeing the exhibition in Delhi, I realised my sources provided me with a very wrong impression about the NGMA show. Mea culpa: the article is entirely misleading about the Delhi segment's content and quality.


globalbabble said...

Yes, the intro is silly. But your article does leave the reader with a sense that the Delhi show was just put up at the last moment and has the not-so-interesting pieces.

Girish Shahane said...

Yes, they didn't make that intro up out of thin air.

Anindita said...

I saw this post while here to scout for other *stuff*.

You're relentless in your criticism of Indian media, Girish! But, true. The thing is, staff writers often face the same predicament. In the long editorial and copy desk chain, someone who thinks they're smarter than the writer, decides to exercise their creativity by deleting the writer's best phrases and supplying strange synonyms. After a point, I guess, frustration gives way to amusement.

"His unsunny passage to India" is one of the funniest in terms of creative interventions though.

Girish Shahane said...

Anindita, in this case, my criticism has to extend to myself. I was far from the mark in my assessment of what was going to be in the Delhi show. Those close to the action wouldn't speak, there was tons of politics around the show. I relied on sources once removed, and got it wrong.