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A Rendezvous with Art and Silence

Art, bolstered by the silence afforded by galleries, ushers us not just into a cosmos created by the artist, but also into our own selves, dropping all pretence.

During a recent visit to the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) in Delhi, my attention was drawn towards a rather inconspicuous figure: the keeper of the gallery. An elderly person keeping an eye on the visitors from a corner of the gallery, he spends hours amidst these artworks in silence and passive observation.

Along with me, there was a young art student of Delhi University silently observing these paintings that have trickled down through decades of India’s modern art history. In a feeble tone, the keeper asked her where she was from. It was a reluctant question; maybe he only half-expected a response. But she replied enthusiastically, seeming quite keen to take the conversation forward, and in turn asked him how long he had been at NGMA. Perhaps, being used to remaining unnoticed, he confirmed twice whether the question was actually addressed to him. Their conversation took off from there, meandering from one thing to another for a good five to ten minutes, sending ripples of whispers through the stillness that is characteristic of museums and art galleries.

An exhibit at NGMA  
Source: NGMA on Twitter 

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Updated On : 19th Apr, 2020

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