After The Turmoil, Krakow, Poland 2003

Foreword

After the Turmoil

Jan Oleksy

war, terrorism, manhunt, murder, slaughter, rape, these are some of the most commonly used words in news broadcasts of the 21st century…

we hear these words every day and they don’t impress us…

they bounce off the wall of denial created by the civilization of comfort and lies of our times…

each one of these words so often used hides someone’s personal tragedy and despair…

behind each of these words there is pain and suffering that we cannot begin to comprehend or imagine unless we have experienced it ourselves…

diwan manna undertook the task of portraying distress as it is…

with deliberate intent, he depicts fear and anguish and their reason to make us realize the true meaning of these words so frequently used in mass media of the 21st century…

in each of his photographs diwan manna shows us a gleam of hope against the background of horror and suffering…

each one of them crudely portrays the worst in mankind simultaneously displaying wonderful human qualities such as love, honor, gentleness…

“most of the time we are the ones that bring out the best or the worst in others” diwan manna told me once…

and I claim that we ourselves are responsible for the future of the world…

we are responsible for eliminating the differences between people…

we are responsible for sharing knowledge, science, technology…

we have to help others be human …

people have to learn to love people …

the artist should create art that “releases the best in people”…

I undertake the task of disseminating this art…

Let the artist speak through his work…

i will intensify his voice by showing it to thousands of people …

that is why i have asked diwan to exhibit his work at the international art center in paszkowka …

and that is why I invite you to come see his work …

Jan Oleksy

International Art Centre, Palace Paszkowka

Krakow, Poland, July 22, 2003

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About the Exhibition

After the Turmoil

Narendra Kumar Oberoi

Life has never changed so quickly as it is doing today. Times, you would say, have changed. But you would have no awareness of the time that goes into our making and unmaking.

Going through the images of life in Diwan Manna’s pictures one is disturbingly struck by the bewildering life around us. In configurations of the unknown and the known we begin to see what is so familiar to us and we are not aware of. The strange feeling that he creates in us is that we do not care to see what is so overwhelming and formidable and does not leave us any option and alibis for not seeing it.

In picture after picture this sense of lack of awareness of our surroundings increases, as we grow familiar with his kind of imagination at work. We are witnessing a breakdown and fusion of life and art forms. Traditionally we divided art forms as time arts and spacearts. These pictures create a space that helps us understand our world and ourselves through his camera eye. One is not sure what one is witnessing is a photography, a painting, theatre, cinema or all of them at the same time.

These pictures reveal to us the areas of our insensitivity, carelessness and cruelty in various forms. Diwan syas – I am not merely interested in presenting images of the destruction of human goodness, courage and beauty, but I try to tap the unsuspected and as yet unrealized sources of tenderness, fortitude and humanity.

Tapping the unsuspected and as yet unrealized sources of tenderness, fortitude and humanity is what he is doing in each picture differently. There is a future, which these pictures open before us.

One experiences a strange sense of community with those in his pictures who have been driven on the margins of social existence. He is not content with merely sympathizing with them. He makes you feel one with them in ways, which reveal the deeper source of his creativity.

He comes to terms with the insidious and unrecognized forms of our degradation of the sense of life and honour within ourselves as well as in others. Each picture is a call attention notice to get in touch with what is basic in us. We cannot remain bystanders anymore. We are struck with unsavoury nuances of our relationship with ourselves.

The circumstantial in these pictures unfolds the possibilities of our higher human nature, the possibilities we are all the time busy sabotaging. We hear the resonances of our deeper quest for harmony and peace in the turmoil of the day.

An encounter with these pictures is a disquieting and  an empowering experience. It brings out our hidden humanness, which in fact becomes an experience of self-realization for each one of us. It opens a reservoir of fellow feeling across cultures, languages and political milieus.

In a way the experience of the exhibition recovers for us our lost humanity. We can hear the pangs within us of the humanity being reborn.

 

Narendra Kumar Oberoi

Media critic

Chandigarh, India

July 22, 2003

 

Viewers at the exhibition After the Turmoil by Diwan Manna at International Art Centre, Paszkowka Palace, Krakow, Poland 2003-2004

 

View of the exhibition After the Turmoil by Diwan Manna at International Art Centre, Paszkowka Palace, Krakow, Poland 2003-2004

 

Diwan Manna with Polish TV crew at the exhibition After the Turmoil by Diwan Manna at International Art Centre, Paszkowka Palace, Krakow, Poland 2003-2004

 

Diwan Manna and Jan Oleksy with Polosh TV crew at the exhibition After the Turmoil by Diwan Manna at International Art Centre, Paszkowka Palace, Krakow, Poland 2003-2004

Viewers at the exhibition After the Turmoil by Diwan Manna at International Art Centre, Paszkowka Palace, Krakow, Poland 2003-2004

 

* Photographs of the exhibition courtesy Sabine