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The ongoing Abhivyakti City Arts Festival 2022 becomes the fourth edition of the fortnight long annual art extravaganza in the city of Ahmedabad as it opened this past weekend.
The festival is happening at the Gujarat University Campus this time and is sponsored and managed by UN Mehta Foundation, the CSR arm of the Torrent Group.
In its earlier editions the Festival happened at the combined venues of Dinesh Hall-Bhavans College and at the KCG Campus.
The Festival 2022 that started on November 11 has a pretty big visual arts segment with thirty five artists or institutions taking part with their exhibits that dwell on a range of themes and subjects but these four installations we present in as many pictures stand out for their sheer scale if also for equally big statements!
The Temple by Sahoo, The Serenity in the City by Setu Joshi and The Nest by a third artist have been mounted – or laid underground in one case – on the ground between the Upasna Centre’s Amphitheater within the campus and the Food court put up for the Festival near the Centre point cross roads of the University Campus.
While there are many other smaller installations, these four draw you in for their sheer scale, placement and visual appeal! The Temple is even more unique for it has been created by digging out a part of the ground here to about ten feet deep and then placing the sculpture at the epicenter – or is the garbhgriha, the sanctum Santorum?
The fourth among this present set under mention is a clustered installation titled Ek Lehar, the biggest yet at the Festival which deals with the issues of climate, ecology and water conservation. This one mounted a little away towards west in the Festival arena is created by the space and interactive design students of the Anant National University, Ahmedabad.
To live up to its interactive dimension, the installation by Anant National University has devised a couple of ways for the purpose by putting some tiles to be written over with visitor’s thoughts and also a QR Code for a virtual visit.
The notable good thing is that the Gujarat University is becoming increasingly open and interactive with art and literary groups by allowing LitFests and exhibitions in its campus for the public’s sake – something expected of the universities as places facilitative of continuous learning for not only young-on-campus students but public at large also! This Fest becomes a third major event in the GU Campus in as many years to our memory. In this one, the University has even allowed temporary digging up of a certain part of its mud ground for art’s sake!
The performing arts including music and stand up comedy are the other major segment at the Fest. Sunday saw a huge crowd turn up for the play Guru Dutt, an interesting and well-received performance on the life of the actor-director who was consumed by the shortcomings in his own personal life.
So while the University deserves to be complimented for being a venue partner – even if there are considerations involved – the promoters deserve greetings for sustaining the Festival in its fourth edition and making it something to be looked forward to!
And for the visitor there is new fare everyday to be explored within the performing arts segment at three venues of the amphitheater, indoor auditorium and a 360 degree platform till Nov 27.
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