New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) A series of posters by 48 graphic designers and artists from India and Mexico illustrate the poetry of 1990 Literature Nobel laureate and former diplomat Octavio Paz in an exhibition here till November 25.
Titled “Re-imagining Octavio Paz”, they display creativity that draws extensively from the former Mexican Ambassador to India’s poetry collections “East Slope” and “The Monkey Grammarian”, among others, scripted during his tenure as envoy to the country starting 1962.
The exhibition on at the Indian International Centre (IIC) here displays posters soaked in his poetic word, that comes on the 50th anniversary of his departure from India (after he resigned in 1968) and 20 years after his death in 1998.
The exhibition that started on Saturday includes a book, where renowned Mexican writer and editor Alberto Ruy Sanchez contributed his thoughts on Paz.
“A Mexican writer who, at the end of the 20th century, invited us to witness glimpses of his enduring and intensely intimate dialogue with India. She transformed him and perhaps everything he wrote afterwards bears in one way or another traces of that encounter.
“Ever since that experience in India, the aesthetics of Octavio Paz turned into a poetics of eroticism.
“In this way, not only the poetry of his book ‘Ladera este’ (East Slope)…or the poetic and expository prose of ‘El mono gramático’ (The Monkey Grammarian), but all his work from that point on assumes a new vital essence that is infused with the magic of India,” he said.
As the curatorial note to the show reads, the same verses can “trigger diverse images” — something visible in the multitude of graphic designs on display.
One of his verses, taken from his long poem “Letter of Testimony” (“Carta de creencia”) is creatively designed to show the confluence of blood, bodies and night.
It reads “Blood: Music in the branches of the veins, touch: light in the night of the bodies”.
Another poem excerpt from “The Broken Waterjar” (which translates to “The interior gaze unfolds and a world of vertigo and flames is born under the skull of the dreamer”) inspires striking visual imagery.
Other poems by him, including “The Street”, “Epitaph for no Stone”, “Brotherhood”, “Sunyata”, “In the Lodi Gardens”, and “The Tomb of Amir Khusro”, have been designed.
The collection was conceived in 2014 in Mexico during the birth centenary of Paz, when some of the most outstanding designers of Mexico came together to re-imagine his poetry, the curatorial note read.
The first exhibition was held with the support of his widow Marie Jose Paz, who passed away this year, it added.
“Re-imagining Octavio Paz” will conclude on November 25. Entry is free.