Just off the manicured lawns of the India International Centre (IIC), fringed by rose bushes and bonsai, now stands a series of white panels arranged like walls without a ceiling. Each white sheet bears rows of squares cut into unfamiliar designs. The piece, created by Auroville-based Frenchman Pierre Legrand, is titled Emergence and uses “text from the Light Matter by Anuradha Majumdar to create a definite vibrating environment”. It is a part of IIC Experience, the Delhi club’s annual festival of the arts, and will be on view till Wednesday.
Legrand, 72, says each square with a cut-out design represents a letter of the English alphabet. He points to the top row of a panel and begins to read: “W-A-R-M pollen of the heart dissolves/ The emptiness”. As he explains the work, the shapes morph into letters stylistically cut out of the white sheets, and one becomes aware of music from the jal tarang and santoor filling the background. For Legrand, who moved to India 45 years ago, it is more important that viewers experience the spiritual effect of the words as they walk through the poetry in panels than decipher the letters.
“This writing is a trick I have found. It started when I was in France and had done a project for architects who did not pay me. I was so deeply shocked that I sat immobile for four hours and, after four hours, I began to see shapes in my head. Suddenly there was incredible light and joy; it a very spiritual experience. It would, however, be 15 years before I finalised this style,” he says. The installation is a part of a much bigger work that was exhibited in Auroville in 1999 and 2000. “For two years, I worked only with white. Later, I would move to earth colours and, after that, more vibrant shades but this piece was my entry,” he says.
IIC Experience will be held till October 15. Contact: 24110237