Tuesday 16th July 2024,
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Anish Kapoor : Behind the Mask

Anish Kapoor : Behind the Mask

The artist Anish Kapoor was one of the signatories to banning Narendra Modi from Britain. Yet his attack on the now prime minister of India was extreme even by the standards of those who opposed Modi. It was fanatical, venomous and very psychologically imbalanced. On BBC Newsnight on 16 May 2014 Kapoor said Modi was a man with “blood on his hands”.And again hes back in the news bashing Modi on his UK visit and bashing Hindus as the Hindu Taliban.

Why this extreme reaction? What caused it? Is Kapoor keen on hiding something else?

Anish Kapoor was born in Mumbai to a Hindu father and a Jewish mother, and attended the elite and illustrious all-boys boarding school The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand. In 1971-1973, he travelled to Israel with one of his two brothers, initially living on a kibbutz. In 1973, he left for Britain to attend Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art and Design, and then went on to teach at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1979 and in 1982 was Artist in Residence at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. He has lived and worked in London since the early 1970s.

The Greater London Authority selected Kapoor’s sculpture from a shortlist of five artists as the permanent artwork for the Olympic Park. At 115 metres tall, Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK. Its twisted mass of materials reflects the sick and twisted mindset of its creator, for Anish Kapoor has moved from art into anti-Hindu politics, fanning the flames of communal hatred in the land of his birth, and beyond. In that well-known propaganda rag known as the Guardian, Anish Kapoor has taken full advantage of the mandate given by that so-called ‘liberal’ hate-sheet to stack Hindus themselves.

Couching this in the language of liberal ‘progressives’, Kapoor warned that Narendra Modi would be a curse for India, that he is a demagogue whose election would bode ill for minorities. India’s now newly elected prime minister was not cleared by the courts of any wrong-doing, he also invited leaders from neighbouring countries to his inauguration ceremony, including Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from Pakistan.

No the Turner Prize-winning artist has long urged British MPs to ban Modi from this country, comparing him to Mugabe. But then it appears that our friend Mr Kapoor has some rather nasty skeletons in his own cupboard. Why is he so keen to attack Narendra Modi and attack Hindu ‘fundamentalism’? Why is he so very reluctant to discuss his upbringing, using amorphous terms such as “cosmopolitan” and “modern” when asked if his family life was Jewish; even though his grandfather, was the cantor in the synagogue in Pune?

In 2012 Anish Kapoor made a video called Gangnam for Freedom  It is a parody of the international K-pop hit single Gangnam Style, and it was created to advocate the freedom of expression as well as to support the Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei, whose parody of “Gangnam Style” was blocked by Chinese authorities immediately after it was uploaded. The video features appearances by the staff of numerous contemporary art museums as well as human rights activists from Liberty, Index on Censorship, The Helen Bamber Foundation, and Amnesty International.

As nothing in the video has any mention or hint to the Palestinian issue .Some people started to ask questions on Anish Kapoor’s own Facebook Page on why he never brings up the human rights abuses against Palestinians

But scrupulously the questions were avoided >

‘I am a huge fan of your art, so thank you for giving me the pleasure! I also support the essential but distressing work of Amnesty. We need to now remember the Palestinians killed by Israeli raids on Gaza over the last weeks = >100 dead civilians 1:3 kids &1000 wounded. We will forgive but never ever forget! As a Jew you have been to Israel and witnessed the Apartheid state.  I urge you to stand up and speak out for Palestine too.’


‘Good video……….but you have left out some significant human rights violations caried out at the moment- Julian Assange / Wikileaks and Palastinians. …Are you / Amnesty International selective in high lighting and acting upon human rights of the worlds population? ‘

Of course questions
like these would be very uncomfortable as he’s very close to Israel where as a  young man he spent time there  , less than 3 decades before the Palestinian Arabs had been forced from the land in which many had lived for generations.

Yet Mr Kapoor is strangely silent about all this. He goes after Modi who only just got elected and yet has not a word to say on the plight of the Palestinian refugees. Why the double-standards? Is this because he is merely using the anti-Hindu stick as an excuse to hide some darker and deeper prejudice? In 2010, Turning the World Upside Down, Jerusalem was commissioned and installed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. The sculpture is described as a “16-foot tall polished-steel hourglass” and it “reflects and reverses the Jerusalem sky and the museum’s landscape, a likely reference to the city’s duality of celestial and earthly, holy and profane”.

Kapoor’s silence on the situation of the Palestinians should act as our guide in reaching the obvious and rather uncomfortable conclusion that he does not see the Palestinian refugee issue as a legitimate concern and that his own psychologically imbalanced obsession with Narendra Modi and Hindu ‘fundamentalism’ is merely a diversion from his own support for Israel. Does he think that by being anti-Hindu he will therefore somehow appear to be ‘moderate’ and therefore acceptable in ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ circles?

Steven Ross

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