Below is my review of A Reluctant Affair by Kishore Singh:
“A Reluctant Affair” by Kishore Singh, speaks about the collaboration between artists and designers. The way the author, moves from one topic to another is very interesting as it paints a picture of his chain of thought for me. The smooth transition of the article from one topic to another is very fascinating. For example, Kishore Singh began talking about how Sabhyasaachi Mukherjee, is reluctant to do an exhibition until he is absolutely sure of the output, from which he moved on to talking about one of his winter couture collection that paid homage to the Bahaus movement. From this he went on to talk about a Bahaus exhibition held in Calcutta. The reader isn’t conscious of the fact that there is a shift in the topic, which I find very intelligent.
I like the fact that Kishore Singh has told it as it is. He hasn’t flinched from criticizing the fact that there have been negligible collaborations between designers and artists in India as compared to Western countries. And also exposing Sabhyasaachi Mukherjee’s role as a mentor and a working professional while curating exhibitions of young and emerging artists.
I found that the vocabulary used in the article is unnecessarily complex, which makes it difficult to comprehend. The use of heavy words, makes the sentence unnecessarily long and difficult to understand. I spent a considerable amount of time re-reading paragraphs to understand their true essence, which made me quite uncomfortable. Especially when the author speaks about Vivan Sundaram’s Postmortem exhibition. He says “Interlaced with surgical instruments, mutilated mannequins, tailor’s dummies and garments, what looked like a serial killer’s lair mocked the fantasy of fashion’s need for androgynous faces and de-sexualized bodies laid out for the promiscuous consumption of an image-hungry public.”
Visually, the way the pictures are displayed throughout the article make it look very appealing. However, if you have a closer look, one realizes that the photographs, which referred to a particular sentence on (say) Page 2 are placed on (say) Page 4. I found this a little tiring as I had to turn back a page to re-read the sentence while I was studying a particular picture. For example, the author speaks about Elsa Schiparelli’s collaborative designs with artist, Salvador Dali’s surrealistic works on Page 79. However, a photograph of Schiaparelli’s Shoe Hat (which was inspired by Salvador Dali’s work) is placed on Page 81. Had the pictures been placed as per the content of the article, rather than the superficial appearance of it, it would have been much easier to connect the dots and understand the true meaning behind what the writer was trying to say.