Rick-Show, a Mobile Cinema for Public Spaces, now in Kolkata

If you want to experience cinema on wheels using the concept of mobile cinema that can be transported in a rickshaw, be at the Park Mansions courtyard between April 29 and May 1, 2022, from 6:30 pm onwards.

A moment for furthering people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, in its fourth edition in2022, Bonjour India celebrates 75 years of India’s Independence and 75 years of the establishment of Indo-French diplomatic relations, a milestone moment in any nation’s history. Besides projects narrating the shared history of the two countries, through photography, science, and letters, Bonjour India will also be an opportunity to ring in some positive vibes, build communities, foster social interaction, and create opportunities for diversity, joy, and amity after along time since the pandemic overtook the world.

Nicolas Facino, the Director of Alliance française du Bengale states “It is a great opportunity for Alliance française du Bengale to organize Rick-show, the 5th event of Bonjour India at the Park Mansions, which has become the European Cultural Hub in Kolkata. We aim to bring a mélange of heritage identity and French ambiance to the heart of the city. The Courtyard of Park Mansions will be the house for art and film lovers for the next three consecutive evenings beginning April 29. Our heartiest gratitude to the Apeejay Group and Apeejay Real Estate for their constant support. This outstandingly creative project, Rick-show will be a chance indeed for the audience to discover the marvelous courtyard existing inside the colonial structure of the Park Mansions.

Apeejay Surrendra Group and Apeejay Real Estate have been partnering with Alliance française du Bengale for several projects. “We are pleased to be a part of this distinguished event as a venue partner. The magnificence of Park Mansions, a historic edifice in the heart of Park Street is ideal for hosting an event like Rick-show dedicated to the fans of world cinema. The Courtyard of Park Mansions is the perfect location for this mobile cinema concept, replete with pop-up seating. We hope to see many more collaborations like this in the future,” said Shouvik Mandal, CEO of Apeejay Real Estate.

Going forward, if the concept gains popularity then Kolkata may witness many more screening of cinema on the move. “Kolkata is a movie buff’s paradise! If the Rick-show concept, which is now installed in the Courtyard of Park Mansions, proves popular, we will look into employing this concept of cinema on the go to screen French World films at various sites throughout Kolkata during the winter season. This cinema on wheels will be able to open up and delight aficionados of international cinema wherever in the city, including riverbanks, public parks, boulevards, and lakes. We can also arrange many more screenings at the Courtyard of Park Mansions in the future,” Nicolas Facino, the Director of Alliance française du Bengale stated.

Rick-show: Production : Le Gentil Garçon aka The Nice Guy. Coproduction : Alliance Française de Trivandrum, Institut Français en Inde. In partnership with: College of Architecture Trivandrum, Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain de la Ville de Genève (FMAC), Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain Occitanie-Montpellier (FRAC).

Witness mobile cinema on a rickshaw that fits within a box. When the Rick-show unfolds, the world of cinema pops up. Why Rick-show? Because it brings cinema to people on an everyday object – an auto-rickshaw. This artwork creates moments of conviviality after the long months of pandemics without cinema.

Within the heart of the project, there is the desire to showcase contemporary art films to communities that have little access to artworks in India (remote regions, underprivileged communities, etc.). There is also the idea of reaching out to a wider audience in the public space through a permanent – but mobile – artwork capable of touching the heart of Indians both through its medium and its contents.

Four thematic programs from art films collection from the Fonds régional d’art contemporain Occitanie Montpellier (France) and Fonds Municipal d’Art Contemporain de Genève (Switzerland) will be offered to the general public and art lovers.

Le Gentil Garçon aka The Nice Guy, is one of those artists who has probably about 1000 or more ideas per second. Enfant terrible of the French art scene who does not wish to conform to the dictates of the art market, this artist explores various mediums: drawing, sculpture, installation, performance, video, etc. Through the eclecticism of his artworks, both in terms of the themes tackled, the means used and the knowledge and references invoked, he is not seeking a signature effect. Driven by curiosity, he feels in his art the imperative need to do everything for the first and last time. In the end, what really interests him is not so much the work produced as the process that leads to it.

He considers that reality is not given as an unshakeable truth or something meant to be used instantly. For him, reality is constructed by each individual, according to his own imagination. The Nice Guy is indeed looking at the reality with children’s eyes or scientists’ eyes, which is for him, quite the same process, and asking how things work. By looking at the reality and questioning it, he realized that it is changeable and constantly slipping from our hands. So he decided to stop learning, and, from then on, to invent the unknown.

With an interest in both popular expressions and scholarly practices, and under the guise of lightness, the polymorphous works of The Nice Guy use all available means to try to shed light on our lives. He does not indicate the path to take but reveals with his flickering halo the infinity of possible trajectories.

The Rick-Show project is developed in partnership with the Department of Design of the College of Architecture Trivandrum (CAT). A team of professors and students are responsible for the design and production of the artwork under the guidance of the artist who intervenes on a distance mode from France.