Compiled By Naina Manjrekar
SHELLY BAHL on ART
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born artist based in New York. She came to prominence with her striking photography series, Women of Allah. Through the media of photography, video and film, her work explores female subjectivity within contemporary Islamic societies. Neshat utilises contrasting or oppositional forms and compositions to create surreal dreamscapes. For example, her video installation, Turbulent, is presented on two screens simultaneously, and with the contrasts of male/female, individual/group, light/dark, front/back, and sound/silence.
BAHL IS A TORONTO AND NEW YORK-BASED MIXED-MEDIA ARTIST
AJAY BHARDWAJ on BOOKS
The most interesting book I’ve read of late is Mujh Par Bharosa Rakhna by Rajula Shah. It is a collection of letters by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother, collected and translated by Shah over the past 10 years. There is an introduction investigating the revolutionary nature of Van Gogh’s art. Also exceptional is the author’s decision to bring the book out in Hindi.
‘The book is a collection of letters by Vincent Van Gogh to his brother’
BHARDWAJ IS A DELHI-BASED TELEVISION DIRECTOR
TIPRITI KHARBANGAR on MUSIC
India Arie is one of my favourite musicians. She brings to her work all the depth of an understanding of her own history and a sensitivity to the human condition. That she writes and composes her own music makes her all the more special for me, as the entire track reflects the subjectivity of the artiste. While immensely passionate and deep, Arie’s music also has an easygoing style to it, which enriches the texture of her songs, creating a beautiful tension between the form and the content.
KHARBANGAR IS A SINGER WITH THE SHILLONG-BASED BAND SOULMATE
On a soulful track
American singer India Arie
SANDEEP KALRA on FOOD
I have met and worked with many chefs in my career but one person who stands out is Yves Mattagne, who heads the Sea Grill restaurant in Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Brussels. Mattagne has given authentic, traditional French food a contemporary, innovative twist. His energy and attention to detail are admirable. Nothing enters or leaves his kitchen without his supervision, be it the meat in the morning or the final garnish on a dish waiting to be served. His culinary expertise has already earned him two Michelin stars.
KALRA IS THE EXECUTIVE CHEF AT THE TRIDENT, GURGAON
RAHUL ROY on FILM
Land of Dreams by Jan Troell is a documentary that keeps coming back to me even though I saw it in 1987. The film poetically questions the discipline, order and rationality of Sweden, which for some may represent a perfect welfare society. But Troell discovers a country that is dark, bleak and joyless. Intensely personal and yet philosophically universal, the film implores us to introspect the consequences of excess. Loggers, dog killers, politicians, psychiatrists and the filmmaker’s daughter come together seamlessly in a masterpiece that is a must see for our times.
ROY IS A DELHI-BASED DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER