An uber-cool ‘house' for Goddess

Shobha Roy Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on September 14, 2011

German artist Mr Gregor Schneider


Bengal's biggest cultural extravaganza — the Durga Puja — is getting a German touch this year. Goethe Institut Max Mueller Bhavan will fund a pandal conceptualised by well-known German artist Gregor Schneider at the Ekdalia Evergreen Club's Durga Puja celebrations.

The pandal (a temporary structure to house the goddess) architecture will resemble the artist's house in Rheydt, Germany.

Titled ‘‘It's all Rheydt' Kolkata 2011', the installation would have many elements of his signature work ‘Haus u r'. Schneider's main area of work is ‘constructed rooms'. Once the Puja comes to an end in the first week of October, the installations will be exhibited in Germany as ‘House of Goddess built in Kolkata'.

“Mr Schneider visited several pandals in Kolkata last year and was inspired to create a work of art that would be an integral part of the Puja celebrations. This is how he got in touch with us,” Mr Subrata Mukherjee, President, Ekdalia Evergreen, and West Bengal's Public Health and Engineering Minister, told Business Line.

The pandal will be inaugurated by the German Ambassador to India, Mr. Thomas Matussek, and the West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, on Panchami (the fifth day of invocation of Goddess). Nearly 200 German delegates will be a part of the celebrations.

The pandal will be built by close to 150 local artisans.

Involvement of local artisans

“Mr Schneider trained the artisans during his seven-day stay here in May. Thereafter, we have been sending photo and video clippings of the pandal at every stage of its development to brief him on the progress of work here. The artisans also have videoconferencing sessions with him on a regular basis,” said Mr Gautam Mukherjee, Secretary, Ekdalia Evergreen Club.

Mr Schneider is likely to be in town on September 22.

The total budget for the Puja would be close to Rs 40 lakh, which is about 25 per cent more than what the club spent last year.

The cost of construction of the pandal would be funded by Max Mueller Bhavan, said, Ms Sharmistha Sarker, Programme Officer, Max Mueller Bhavan.

Published on September 13, 2011

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