Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Election in a glass-case


Though the govern ment failed to bring back the stolen (or exported) idol of Dipankar Buddha from Austria, the authorities have lately found a curio item unclaimed, at the backyard of Shahid Manch.

The maker of the abstract sculpture, entitled "Election" is anonymous but he said to have been very popular among the public in past 11 years. The art critics have not yet analysed whether the poor people really love it or the exhibitors wanted to impose this show on the people’s back. The advertisers have made such an impression in the world that it was the people’s wish and not the organisers’ vested interest that guide this poor country to organise the extravagant show in every three or four years.

To be very frank, there was nothing to gain by watching this abstract sculpture for the public. But still, a handful of exhibitors, who earn money by showing of the sculpture often lure the visitors by explaining the beauty of artworks, curves, texture and composition. Their explanation of the curio sculpture reminds me of the political leaders who pretend to watch modern art and to understand it too at such exhibitions.

What could compel them to exhibit the mystic sculpture now and then if not the profit they gain? Though it was constitutional to open the display once in five years at Bahadur Bhawan, they have the practice of opening it in every other year.

A new exhibition of the same mesmerising sculpture is going to be held soon. It was said that this exhibition will benefit all the parties and the public, they have not come up with preparations from their sides. This clearly shows that they are not expecting any such exhibition.

But as a matter of fact the people will gain nothing only by watching it. And this time, the exhibition will be held amid strict security. The authority said that the exhibition would be marked by tight security, so much so that the exhibition will be there but the security will take out the breath of each visitor before s/he could watch it for the last time.

The authority has not yet made proper arrangement for the show to take place, but they are cocksure that they could hold it. They have not even consulted our Hydrology department whether it will rain or snow on that day.

The entertainers are also still not sure whether they should go to villages and lure the uneducated, poor and dim-witted people to the stage. Even going there is not the end. They will have to explain about the specialty of the show this time.

You will never know, the organisers do not want to bring the sculpture to the show. They are afraid that the right to hold another show might be snatched away. To keep their right tight, they have already laid off 205 guards who were working from Singha Durbar. Similarly, they have also deputed their pets instead of 4,000 representatives in local posts around the museum.

But things are not gonna be better anyway. If going there will be more boring than watching Nepal Television, I think the audience will choose the worse than the worst. It’s their right too.

What is interesting about this show is that the louder the authority start confirming the possibility of the election, the more suspicious the possibility of holding this show becomes. They have been repeating the same thing so many times that even the audience have forgotten what exactly will take place.
[Kathmandu, Wednesday October 02, 2002 Ashwin 16, 2059.]