Those Exhibition Openings

Jul 17 2015.

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Oh! Colombo 

All or most exhibitions have an opening or preview to which a selected number are invited. These special invitees are family, close friends of the exhibitor and, of course, potential buyers and those who would be interested in the exhibitors’ work for future business transactions. In short, the guest list includes a mix of guests, while some galleries also have their standard invitee list for all exhibitions. The press are invited to such openings or previews and at most times they are accompanied by a photographer and the fashion columnist. Therefore, being on the invitee list to such openings or previews is essential to lots of the bored people in Colombo who like to make the event a social occasion and have a good chance of being featured in either a magazine or the weekly fashion columns.

Such events always serve food and beverages of some sort. At some events the beverage is not limited to a fruit juice but cocktails or a choice of red or white wine and beer are also served.

Last weekend was the opening of Nostalgia 05, an exhibition of Kumar de Silva’s photographs. The theme was the streets of Paris. Kumar had asked Lou Ching to create a bit of atmosphere at the venue and Lou Ching had transformed the deadly dull art gallery of the Lionel Wendt into a street scene with a café.  All those at the opening seemed to love the exhibition because it had the perfect ambience to exhibit Kumar’s photographs: mannequins were dressed in chic fashion, an artist painting on the street side and a couple of café chairs with wine glasses filled with Coke and cookies and croissants on the plates placed on the café table, French newspapers and the French version of the Vogue placed on one of the mannequin’s laps. The opening was a great success with lots to nibble and generously served wine and ended in a couple of hours.

Lou Ching and Kumar decided to neaten up the place for the next day. Much to their horror, they discovered that the ambience props of Coke, cookies and croissants had been consumed and the Vogue magazine nicked. They both burst out into laughter and wondered which of the invitees had not realized that the food and drink were merely props. As for the magazine, it was actually downright stealing.

Invitees to such events are supposedly the hoity-toity socialites and artistes from Colombo. This incident however makes you wonder whether they actually are. Do they come to see and enjoy the exhibition or just to gobble up everything that is served and nick whatever possible?

So the question arises as to whether all those who are at exhibition openings and previews are actually the hoity-toity of Colombo or a bunch of poseurs. Oh! Colombo.


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