Based in Thompson Park pavilion in Burnley
Reetu Sattar’s ‘Lost Tune’ exhibition, currently on display at the pavilion in Thompson Park, Burnley, closes Sunday 30th June at 4pm. Opening times are 10-4pm Friday-Sunday.
This work by Reetu Sattar is an act of political defiance, of rebellion, activism and protest.
The harmonium, which used to be a common instrument in households across Bangladesh, is now often seen as anti-Islamic.
Instead of a beautiful or melodic tune that you may expect to hear, the use of each of the seven notes of the harmonium as a persistent, droning and discordant sound prompts the viewer to reflect on the loss of cultural expression across communities, at a time where extreme views are gaining traction all over the world.
This work was originally performed in a public park in Dhaka, with as many harmonium players that the artist could gather together, and the film presented here documents a performance staged at the Dhaka biennial.
Reetu Sattar wrote the following poem:
Once there was a country where music was in every home…
Stories of music … murmuring of tunes.
Once there was a time when school holiday mornings were passed by pumping air into Harmoniums in some local music school.
Sa Re Ga Re Ma Re Ga Ma Re Pa Ga Ma Pa Ga Dha Ma Pa Dha Ma Ni Pa Dha Ni Pa Sa Dha Ni Sa Dha Ni Sa Re Ga Ma Pa
Where have those mornings gone?
Where are those people now?
Remembering them my heart aches, loses its way
Khushiara Music Academy… Never stepped into that
May be that is why never forgot that
Now the music is scattered like a market after it’s done
Now there are only howls of pigs… wailing of animals left behind
“I listen with my ear pressed to the deep dark door of my heart “
May a Sudhanshu returns
May any Sudhangshu returns even after fleeing away
Live on … steadfast … here … on his land.
Translation by: Professor Afsan Chowdhury
This exhibition is part of the Liverpool Biennial touring programme, which brings works by international artists presented at the 2018 festival of contemporary art to spaces across the North of England.Supported with National Lottery funding through Art Council England’s Strategic Touring fund