Open_Ended was a concept of a literary ritual at the Bangalore Literature Festival — one that saw participants hang up their favourite lines

The literary installation wound its way from one end of the lawn to another, the casuarina poles criss-crossed to form the strong, skeletal structure of a whimsical world, and to quote the creators of “Open_Ended”, Bhavana Kumar and Nicola La Noce, “a forest of opening lines, a rustling canopy of words that are the beginnings of stories, of epics, of verse and of the inspired offerings of our literary heroes”.

Bhavana corrects me when I call them artists. “I am trained as an architect and this is the first bridge of sorts between architecture and art.” She is the co-founder of Kumar La Noce Architecture Urbanism along with her partner Nicola La Noce, an Italian architect and says that the two are just about finding their feet.

The Open_Ended project began after a meeting with Srikrishna and Vikram, from the core team of the Bangalore Literature Festival, when Bhavana said to them, “A cultural event like this should be seen as a public space rather than a big pandal or stage – that was how it started, the point was to do something that made the venue for a temporary period, a civic space.”

Open_Ended invited literary enthusiasts, book lovers, writers, readers, stragglers and just about anybody else who hung around at the Bangalore Literature Festival to put up their favourite opening line or the opening line from their favourite book, “The idea came with the concept of a literary ritual, drawing from the tradition of tying a thread at a dargah, around trees, the prayer flags – it is a symbolic gesture. The action has an element of acting and something physical, and being quite passionate about literature and reading I wanted it to be a small literary ritual,” says Bhavana.

She continues, “The structure had to be primitive and not imposing — like it had always been there, like it just sprung up from the grass. And the last layer in the process was the installation being open ended — it was a forest of beginnings to inspire young readers and writers.”

And celebrating the civic space was top most on their list of priorities, “Especially in a fast filling up city like Bangalore. Private property is taking over our lives and civic spaces are important to give character to the city, so we have to take these opportunities and make the most of it; it is a good platform to appreciate spaces.”

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