Diptej Vernekar creates a heavenly public gym art installation ‘Incarnation Park’ at the old GMC building, part of the ongoing Serendipity Arts Festival in Panaji

In the ongoing Serendipity event Goan artist Diptej Verneker, has shown a god, goddess and even Hindu demons can be used to promote physical fitness in a unique installation focused on outdoor gyms. This is particularly commendable when leading film producers and directors are promoting separatism and distortion of history through ‘pictures’ like ‘Padmavat’ and ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ which is a Tamil-based film. This comes on top of the celebration of an Assamese warrior Lachit Barphukan, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We congratulate the artist Diptej Vernekar on his secular spirit!

Some of the best art, arguably, is interactive in nature. Goa-based artist Diptej Vernekar’s latest installations, presented at the ongoing Serendipity Arts Festival in the state, is a case in point.
Vernekar has transformed outdoor gym equipment by adding tableau-like structures that move animatedly whenever a person uses it, which means a seemingly simple workout can prompt a demon face to spit out a snake or a mythical bird to flap its wings.
A video of the installations was posted online by popular Instagram page India Cultural Hub and has garnered over 17,000 likes already. Commenting on it, a Twitter user wrote, “Very innovative work ”, while another

The weight of so many heads is giving Ravaan a headache! Shri Ganeshas challenges gymnasts! How far can you stretch… the artist asks demon and Narayan Narayan while straightening out his shoulders

remarked, “wowowow these are so amazing”.
In the post’s caption, Vernekar explained that he grew up in a small Goan village known for tableau art and moving art forms created by local artisans. Apparently, Vernekar’s current work has been inspired by his childhood fascination with the manual mechanisms behind moving artefacts.
Speaking about the interactive nature of his installations, Vernekar said, “This installation translates the process of moving these artefacts by making it accessible to the general public as an outdoor gym of incarnations. I hope to illustrate the idea of an outdoor gym as a cultivator of urban ethos and as a mechanism to open access to living craft traditions and the local technologies behind them. The installation also explores the fun and quirky elements of these artefacts in real time, by turning the outdoor gym into an interactive experience.”

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