Title-The Blindfolded Man
https://soundcloud.com/b-ajay-sharma/man-with-bowel-and-seven-ibrother-bodhgaya-biennale-sound-20016 This was not a Concept note or any framed idea.
Here in this project, I have tried to create and decode few of my actions and references. It was the collaborative performace with seven men who were singing outside the temple in Bodhgaya. There names were Indradev, Guddu, Lakhan, Rajkumar, Mukesh and others. They were blind yet excellent singers and musicians. They belonged to a particular caste of Bihar hence considered low(as Indian society is divided on the basis of caste and according to it people of certain caste are dehumanized and marginalized by the society). There, they were begging outside the Bodhi Temple of Bodhgaya. People were neglecting them despite their great voices and singing style. When I talked with them, Guddu asked me that whether I can provide him a stage to perform as singer and that thought of Guddu appealed to me and I tried to develop a concept where I could share a space with them. In this performance, I sat on the very same place where they used to sit everyday and sing. I asked people especially monks to put silver foil over my body (as it was ritual there to buy silver foil for offering), then I told the seven geniuses to cover their faces and walk along with me on road till stage. On the stage, I covered their faces and they started to perform music. So those artists were without any identity now. Now, they were performers and their connection with their caste was lost for a little while. They sang different folk songs and also some songs from their community(caste community). This is how I tried to transform the space where their identity was beyond the worldly chains. I started begging from people which is an act of BHIKSHUK(not beggar exactly, it is a cultural offshoot of Buddhism). It symbolize the Budha Sakyamuni who used to live on Bhiksha(alms). There was a great man in India named Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, he worked for the upliftment of lower caste people. Ambedkar embraced Bodhidharma to improve the condition and status of marginalized castes. Looking at those singers in Bodhivihar made me realize how a religion i.e. buddhism, which was once a resistance against the inhuman systems of Hinduism, now is suffering with the same disease on practical grounds. (After Amabedkar , Cast and Bhuddhism In post modern India itself have very different lairs and paradox within indian social structure and how Foreigners are looking buddhism in India ) This performance is act of understating different layer of cast system and idea and conflict of space "Bhodhgaya" where Buddhist practice taking shape . Title-Blindfoled man Place- Bodhgaya Biennial 2016 Curated by -Rahul Bose & vinay kumar Duration - 01:00:00 Photo by - Vinod Bhardwaj , Naresh Kumar