“The Artist is Forgotten” – T M Krishna

“The Artist is Forgotten” – T M Krishna

  • 08 Mar 2018
  • FWD Admin
  • Features

T M Krishna addressed the gathering at International Festival of Books and Authors about Art and Democracy

Words by: Roshan D  Image: Krithi International Festival of Books and Authors

One of the prominent names in the Carnatic music scene now is T M Krishna, and he is the man of intellectual wit with an alluring voice. T M Krishna addressed the gathering at the International Festival of Books and Authors on the subject Artist and Society focusing on how democracy and art go hand-in-hand.

He started off his speech by mentioning a small incident that happened in the recent past in our country. “A few statues of great yester-year political influencers were taken down in Chennai and in Tripura. While this happened, the mob is agitated and politically offended, thinking about how great influencers they were. But what did the mob forget? The mob forgot the artist behind each of these statues who sculptured these influencers. Though the statues might look alike from one place to the other, but every statue is different because that particular political influencer is seen through the imagination and ideology of the artist”, said T M Krishna, recounting the harsh reality of today.

However this questions the society’s relationship with that of the artist, he recollects incidents where he was personally asked by people why he chose to speak and write, when he could be doing his job (singing). But why not? “Art is something that comes flowing to a person at unusual times. It happens when least expected by the artist and it happens when one questions oneself about the form of art. It is okay for people to excel in different forms of art as art is not restricted to one or to one form. But on the other hand, one needs to challenge the art itself to bring changes in the society”, he said, enlightening the creators and lovers of art.

While this gives a moral boost for artists to create art, he also stressed on the topic of how one needs to take care of art itself for it to be conceived. A constant care and vigilance is much needed in order to produce quality art for the society and this way, the art is politicised as it’s made for the society. Upon seeing the art work, different emotions are experienced, thus allowing people to question, sensitise and change the way one leads his/her/their life. And this answers the question of what art hopes and seeks.

But all this stirs a question – how is art and democracy related? Well, T M Krishna profoundly answered the question. “Though the two might seem as two different things, they are closely knit. While art is a form of expression, democracy paves way as to how it can be presented to the society. And in an unspoken way, art and democracy seek the same thing. But when an art is destroyed, both the art and the democracy are crushed, the society is tarnished and the artist ceases to exist.”

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