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Surreal view An artwork by Vardag
Surreal view An artwork by Vardag

Compiled by Naina Manjrekar

Sandro Droschl on art
Nadim Vardag is a self-reflexive artist who asks important questions about the state of art, its context and the conditions in which it is exhibited. He mixes media freely, concerning himself with both the still and the kinetic image. While his earlier works examine the construction of the mediated image directly, his current artworks — installations, sculptures, drawings and films — revolve around the questioning of the present exhibition situation.

Droschl is director of gallery Kunstverein Medienturm in Graz, Austria

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Latha Anantharaman on books 
The unfathomed mysteries of Kazuo Ishiguro’s A Pale View of Hills fascinate me. Etsuko, whose daughter killed herself, recalls the summer in Nagasaki when she met Sachiko, a widow who wanted to flee with her American lover. Every moment screams with tension. We can’t believe what the two mothers say about their daughters.

‘We can’t believe what the two mothers say about their daughters in the book’

Anantharaman is a Chennai-based writer

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Sound wave: American musician Laurie AndersonAmanda Palmer on music
One of my favourite artistes is Laurie Anderson. Her music is experimental and has a story attached to it. What bothers me about experimental music is the lack of emotion. Laurie, however, strikes a balance — there’s an intellectual side and a certain warmth at the same time.

Sound wave: American musician Laurie Anderson

Palmer is a New York based Punk musician

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Bon voyage: A still from Virmani’s Journeys with Kabir and Friends
Bon voyage: A still from Virmani’s Journeys with Kabir and Friends

Rakesh Sharma on Film 
A series of must-see films I’d recommend is Shabnam Virmani’Journeys with Kabir and Friends. A National Award this year and a protracted court battle with the Censor Board — this schizophrenic approach of the Indian State seems reserved for films exploring secularism, diversity and our plural ethos. I love almost all of Girish Kasaravalli’s work, right from Ghatashraddha, Tabarana Kathe and Thaayi Saheba to Kanasemba Kudureyaneri and Gulabi Talkies. And for one of the finest performances in Hindi cinema, I’d recommend Balraj Sahni in Garam Hawa.

Sharma is a Goa-based political documentary filmmaker

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Sidhartha Sharma on food 
An old favourite has been Indian Accent in New Friends Colony, Delhi. The place is worth a visit for its innovative fusion Indian cooking. I attempt to incorporate different kinds of dimensions to my cooking and Indian Accent is one place that has managed to pack that pleasant punch of surprise in their dishes. For continental cuisine, a good bet is Blanco in Khan Market. The ambience is relaxing, the music just perfect to soothe your mind and the food fantastic. The all-day service, unlike other restaurants, ensures that you’ll be entertained whenever you walk in.

Sharma is the executive chef at Ignis, New Delhi

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