Every cylinder in this room is filled with the same liquid except one. The light from the bulbs enter unharmed in all of the others but does not light the different one. The dark one.

Can you spot that cylinder? The dark one that does not get brightened when the bulb goes through it?

Look carefully. Find it.

art at Kochi Biennale festival

Did you see the cylinder? 
I certainly hope not. Because I lied. All the cylinders are placed with different fluids - from water to milk and even oil. All of them brighten up when light passes through them.

Humans are like that too, you know. 
Shower them with love and respect and watch them all light up, irrespective of their colour, country or religion. Of course, tell us that some people are incapable of shining bright because they are different from us and we will believe that too. 

We will believe that some cylinders are undeserving of light.  
And the room becomes a darker place to be in when we allow that to happen. 

Which begs the question - who has darkened the room? The dark cylinder which shines no light because it was never given any? Or the bright one that taught us to deny light to the dark cylinder simply because it was filled with a different liquid? 




Authors note:

The installation is by Austrian artist Valie Export at Kochi Biennale, the world's longest duration contemporary art festival. You can see other amazing installations from the Kochi Biennale here.   
I don't know the artist's reasoning behind her installation - this is just one way I have chosen to interpret it. How I have chosen to link it to present day social issues.

I am linking this post with Esha and Natasha for #WordlessWednesday. You can find more picture based posts there and add your own too. 
wordless wednesday tag


Earlier posts I have written for Wordless Wednesday include:

13 Comments

  1. so surreal, is all I can say.

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  2. What a beautiful allegory!

    I guess every once in a while, we have been guilty of being the one who darkens the rooms.

    Great post, Dr. Roshan.

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  3. That's deep and profound!! A great capture too!

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  4. You raise a very important point. Loved your thoughts Doc. I would have never thought how deeply insightful this photo could be :)

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  5. What a beautiful thought! The one that’s not shining is simply because it was deprived of its light. It is the responsibility of the ones with light to spread it. If only we humans understood that and acted on it!

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  6. What a beautiful thought! The one that’s not shining is simply because it was deprived of its light. It is the responsibility of the ones with light to spread it. If only we humans understood that and acted on it!

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  7. A beautiful interpretation. Will humanity ever get to that point?

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  8. @pooja just the way I interpreted it. :)

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  9. @veronica lee, sadly so true. We all have been guilty of this at some time. And we need to do better.

    @shilpa,thanks.

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  10. @rajlakshmi, there's often a lot that we miss from everyday scenes... Granted this doesn't count as an everyday scene but still.

    @Vibitha, as Veronica mentioned, we have been guilty too of causing darkness at some point in our life. Time to change that with more conscious efforts.

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  11. @Alana, not for a long time. But efforts must be made.

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  12. I guess both arguments could be true, depending on the paradigm that we choose to see things. I must say, we need to make more conscious efforts to be more inclusive than we are, at present. We are guilty of blocking the light more than we would like to admit to ourselves.
    Thank you for sharing this thought-provoking post with us this week, Doc. Looking forward to more such insightful observations from you.

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  13. Roshan, Let there be light and let us all shine! Your interpretation of this display is actually the need of the hour. A great post as usual. I am glad I read it.

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So what do you think ?