Published: 27th February 2020
Remember the Bengaluru Moonwalk video? It's now part of a socio-political exhibit at a London varsity
Baadal Nanjundaswamy's Moonwalk video is given prime space in the show called A Passage Through Passages at the Brunei Gallery in SOAS. The video had gone viral and was replicated in Mexico
When people first saw the Moonwalk video created by popular artist Baadal Nanjundaswamy — with him doing Michael Jackson's signature moonwalk over a painting of what appeared to be lunar craters, but were actually just pothgoles on Bengaluru's roads — they shared the video so much on social media that he went legitimately viral. Today, this roady bit of artistry is being exhibited in London, and understandably, Baadal who is very excited and happy about this news, says, "When I created this art, I never thought that it will catch the attention of this many people. It is the first time that my work is being exhibited at an international forum. Liz Hingley, a curator from SOAS University in London got in touch with me in December 2019 and told me that my moonwalk video will be given prime space in the show called A Passage Through Passages. I was fine with this and gave them permission to play the video in the exhibition."
Currently, the exhibition is held at the Brunei Gallery in SOAS. It will go on till March 21, 2020. The exhibition is funded by the European Research Council and Prof Edward Simpson is guiding an interdisciplinary team of researchers for their five-year ethnographic study of road building in South Asia. When we asked Baadal as to why this particular video is being played at the exhibition, he says, "This exhibition is part of a display called Roads and the Politics of Thought. Since the video of the Moonwalk is also related to roads and administration, they chose to exhibit it."
What exactly is Moonwalk video?
If you are thinking that Moonwalk video of Baadal is the famous dance step by Michael Jackson, then you are wrong. In September 2019, Baadal created a video of him dressed as an astronaut walking cautiously on one of the bad roads filled with crater-sized potholes in Bengaluru, while the vehicles passed by on the road. The video went viral forcing the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to fix the bad roads across the city.
Baadal who believes in expressing himself through quirky visual art forms, says, "It was the time when people were talking about Chandrayaan-2 and I always feel that any art should be understood by a common man. Therefore, I felt that this was the right way to express the apathy of our civic authorities."