The presence of a camcorder provoked an eerie chill among participants in the art exhibit Dust On The Road at York Quay Gallery last Saturday.
Just as Ram Rahman stood to address the audience, the Indian consul-general, C.M. Bhandari, turned on his videotape recorder.
The exhibition was sponsored by SAHMAT, an organization of progressive Indian artists based in New Delhi. For 11 years, the group has produced art projects tackling issues of freedom of expression and sectarian violence.
The consul-general started criticizing the gathering after Rahman pointed out that many artists and journalists are under threat in India. "He said it was untrue," says Rahman.
Bhandari says he was "totally astonished" by the political nature of the work. "This kind of complaint, which is against one political party, is propaganda," he says.
Harbourfront staff refused to comment, except to say the show fits the gallery's mandate.
Artists don't want to be in consul's movie