Wednesday, August 09, 2006
How To Create A Sensation
Unhappy Psychiatrist (or psychologist?) gesticulating her indignation at the Art Gallery
“Tits, Clits and Elephant Dicks” was the title of this art show presented recently at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Bombay, by artists Vaishali Narkar and Sanjeev Khandekar. I have to say that the subject didn’t interest me enough to actually make the effort to go and take a look but I did read some reviews of it – both good and bad. Even the reviews were not nearly half as interesting, though, as the reaction to the show by a local psychiatrist in her late forties, who goes by the name of Pushp Vhijula. In the photograph I saw of her, she was angrily waving her arms while presumably talking to the press. In one newspaper report she was introduced as a psychiatrist but in the next one, in the same newspaper, she was said to be a psychologist. To Indians it is all the same I suppose. Psychologist, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, psychiatrist. All of them are considered “psychos”.
This woman at any rate, was so incensed by what she saw that she actually lodged a complaint against the show at the Colaba police station. The police instantly swooped down on the gallery and ordered the artists to COVER THE PAINTINGS. In spite of their protests and other artists protesting I gather they had to follow orders and maybe it got them even more publicity than they would normally have got because in a newspaper photograph I saw a visitor, a woman that too, lifting the veil of a painting to peer at its unholy contents.
Meanwhile dear old Pushp V. frothing at the mouth, revealed in an interview how, back in school they were rapped on the knuckles for even using slang. She was too shocked and embarrassed by the paintings at Jehangir to even mention the name of the show.
I dread to think of what kind of psychiatrist or psychologist Ms. V must make. Or to think what she must be doing to her clients. Does she forbid them from using any words during the sessions, which are even vaguely related to this unmentionable act which is mostly at the source of life?
I always had a suspicion that a good number of professionals in the field of mental health were themselves basket cases. This incident at the Jehangir Gallery kind of proves it. Unless of course - god forbid - the artists actually employed the woman as some kind of publicity agent to organise the kind of press coverage for them which they ended up getting!!!
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