A team made for the love of art – The New Indian Express


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Art tends to break down geographical and social barriers and bring people together, creating a confluence of ideas. This quality of art was examined in depth in the Indo-Italian documentary SAMA: Symbols and Gestures in Contemporary Art of Italy and India. Volume one of the trilogy premiered on Thursday at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi, Chanakyapuri. This documentary, curated by cultural producers Myna Mukherjee and Davide Quadrio, is directed by Indian filmmaker Onir together with Italian director Allesandra Galleta.

Commissioned and produced by ArtHub Asia, a non-profit organization dedicated to contemporary art, and Engendered, an arts and human rights organization, SAMA is a collaboration between the Embassy of Italy in India and the Italian Cultural Institute of New Delhi. The film, which explores the semiotics of India and Italy’s contemporary art scene, is supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

A toast to art

The event started with the inauguration of digital works inspired by film, created by artists Satyakam Saha and Satadru Sovan. This was followed by a speech by Vincenzo De Luca, the Italian Ambassador to India: “The Italian Embassy in India and the Italian Cultural Institute of New Delhi have supported the project from the start because we understand the potential of such an important work. The documentary highlights the parallels between Italy and Indian history, ”he said.

The hour-long screening was followed by a question-and-answer session with the curators and Onir, moderated by Aseem Chhabra, director of the New York Indian Film Festival South Asia. Often there is a ghettoization or exoticization. We wanted to get away from that, ”said Mukherjee.

Onir, who also directed the critically acclaimed My Brother … Nikhil, said SAMA helped him revisit the arts, a field he has experimented with in the past. “When Myna talked about it, it was an opportunity I was greedy for. There was an opportunity to explore this incredible world of art. For me the process was like entering a world into which I went with the vision “I want to know and discover”. And that makes the film accessible to someone who doesn’t necessarily come from the art world. “

A number of voices

With 50 artists from India and Italy, this documentary presents a selection of voices and ideas. “We wanted to show that there isn’t a certain box in which you can put Indian or Italian art,” commented Mukherjee. In a series of interviews, the artists discuss their respective styles, individual methods of creating art and the challenges they have to face. The second volume of SAMA should appear at the beginning of next year.


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