All eyes are glued to the projector. A lady is darting with a stick pointing to her presentation being played on the projector. She spoke at an incredible speed, climbing up and down a stool. Her words races.
And then the clock chimes. Time is up. The lady gasps and pants gleefully, completing her presentation on time.
The satirical take of the presentation rightly depicts Mithu Sen’s attitude towards deadlines. Yet she says, “Yes, deadlines give you pressure, enjoy working under pressure.” She was conversing with the students of Department of Fine Arts after a presentation titled Un-political, covering the aesthetic practice of artist Mithu Sen, on 27th February, 2020.
The one hour long presentation was a collection of the different artworks that she preformed in different parts of the world, combining poetry, mimicry and much more. It was filled with lots of travel and experimenting some unique styles, breaking the conventional boundaries of art. She liberated art, as well as art liberated her. She describes the payment from her three or four yearly art pieces for sale, as her freedom to play with the art for the rest of the year.
The unique naming that she employs by adding the prefix ‘un’ to the title of artwork is quite catchy. Digging further, one realises it’s her attempt of lashing out at the connotations assigned with a certain word, like the negation attached with ‘un’, breaking stereotypes at a larger level.
After completing Post Graduation from Santhiniketan, Mithu Sen landed up in the big city of Delhi. The young Bengali girl, left all to herself realised and juggled with the adaptational challenges, once out of her comfort zones. Art, lent her a helping hand. And now she confidently says, “I like discomforting myself.”
Anusha, a first year student of MA Fine Arts is all excited, “In our class discussions, she comes up countless times. Now when she is here, it feels surreal.”
After the presentation, the students interacted with Mithu. She emphasised that it is not about finishing, but really enjoying and doing what one loves doing. Later, she walked around the studios in the department, taking up questions from the students.
–Nimisha S Pradeep, Department of Communication.