City as Studio: EXB 10.04/Works
1] RED CAP
Digital photographs as video projection.
Duration: 4 min
There is a performance happening in the city all the time. Everyone is presenting themselves in certain ways. We always have a comment or a judgement on the performances we witness. Red Cap is a statement on a performance.
2] POETRY DARWAZA [Door]
Materials: cardboard on stands, printed A4 sheets, butter and Gateway paper, India ink, glass marker pen, sketch pen, thumbtacks, cellotape, ghungroos, pencils
The Poetry Darwaza is a door through which all words bathe in constant new lights and acquire forms as diverse as a hanging train of words ("Night Train") from the ceiling hurtling into the empty space below. Often the door took us on a journey to the realm of poetry calligraphy where a boat sailed with words ("Blue Vessel") or time was etched on a paper sheet ("Somewhere, Circa Unknown"). A pair of brass dancing bells (ghungroos) enlivened the chant of the City to reach out to its beloved, the hated and the bravehearts ("Delhi Nazm"). Cut-ups of words re-assembled, opened the door to another poetry of substance and time ("ProfileS"). Through this work I saw poetry absorb the art from its own life and the others'.
Acknowledgement: Ashavari Majumdar for the ghungroos; Samir Parker for pencils; Iram Ghufran and Irmelin Joelson for re-organizing my poetry by cutting up words and phrases.
3] TAJNAGAR NOTES
Material: post-its, sketch pen
|Sarai fellows took a trip to Tajnagar, an urban village on the periphery of Delhi. The railway station in Tajnagar has been built with community effort. This inspired photographs and videos. The poetry followed naturally, in a Haiku-like fashion, to capture the significant cameo that was Tajnagar. |
Acknowledgement: Natasha and Radhika for in-depth photographs and video of Tajnagar
4] WE ARE STARSTUFF...
2 audio vignettes, 10mins, 10 silver yoga mats, 10 MP3 players.
Who are these individuals who watch the stars and invest their resources in the activity? What draws them to the night sky? What sets them apart? Why do they continue to chase eclipses and other celestial phenomena across the country and sometimes the world?
As an amateur astronomer myself, I have tried to explore the dual role of the artist as both ‘participant’ and ‘observer’. How does one create a sense of engagement with someone else’s experiences? How do you put these bits and pieces together not in order to reconstitute the actual object of observation, but to try and focus instead on the phenomenon.
The two vignettes, were strung together out of a series of conversations with 20 amateur astronomers in New Delhi. A chronicle of people whose lives have been transformed by what they see in the sky.
Material: Digital print on glass, aluminium window frame
Acknowledgement: Amitabh Kumar, Bhagwati Prasad, Jeebesh Bagchi
7] BAD WEATHER
Material: Mosquito net [72 inch wide x 58 inch depth ], stop motion animation with sound track [duration: 160 sec],ice cube, a jar of pickle
Few words parallels to my work …..
5000 swans were slaughter in BBC
Porosity is over
Opacity has begun
Shut my window
No courier will be accepted
Turn the notice board
No more ‘be-aware of dog'
‘Log in’ 24 hours …..
Ordered a pizza from a neighbouring take-away
Underwear drying since Monday …..
Please have some patience
The work is around moisture, air, dust, particles and disease and consists of a brief performance within a mosquito net with the animation projected on it various layers. A jar of pickle that is going bad rests on a high stool in one corner. The artist creates a play with ice cubes and a ‘time stretching’ experience for the audience while the ice melted.
8] KANKHOWA's PHOTO STUDIO [See: Performance]
9] PROJECTILE PROPHECIES
Material: Print on Metallic Silver Vinyl
Size: 8 feet x 10 feet
Can only the prophet's prophesize ?
This rather simple question stirred the pot and was the key to the Prophesaur's den. The new secret cult that had joined the cycle of cults that would one day control the world. But what was control worth if it was shared or even serialised ?
The Prophesaur's. The one that we will be dealing with right now is the prophesaur of history. But how can you prophesize about what was, since prophecy is the bullet that is waiting for the future. So he didn't prophesize history, but rather prophesized how history would be interpreted in the future. It was he who had prophesized the cycle of control which said that everyone would get the chance to control the world and that ambition too had a que. You simply had to get in it. The line was long, but it was the only way to truly prophesize when your chance would come. The Prophesaur knew that they were two rows behind __________ and in front of them was ______ with his pink sarong flying.
The Prophesaur's lived under the immense pressure of this revelation and it made them see people and patterns that would stake control of the world before and after them. This would often lead to nerve chewing moments of anger and jealousy, where one of the prophesaurs was known to have bitten the ear of a man, thrown a cat of the window and gatecrash parties of the present controller dressed as a blond chihuahua. This was one of the reasons that cult was a secret and lying low, waiting for its turn.
The prophesaur has spoken today. The prophecy has been made. This is what it is.
10] DANCE AND THE CITY
Material: Digital photographs
I collaborated with a photographer-Shamsher Ali. My intention was to capture a set of still images of the body reacting to the physical space of the city and I chose Mandi House since it played a pivotal role in the development of Kathak in the city. The experiment developed into an improvised performance which traversed a large amount of public space. From the city as 'backdrop' to the city scape as both performance site and material. An autorickshaw, a police van, a hawker's stand transformed into props and 'people' transformed into characters. Space thus is continually transformed by people's reactions/physical movements in it. My experiment underscored the fluid nature of 'the city'- its physical space.
This experiment was also part of my ongoing research into 'daily' and 'extra-daily' movements. A question I was asking was what movements qualify as dance?
For the EXB, I made a slideshow of the photographs and displayed it on a TV monitor. I chose this method for displaying the images since they could thus viewed over time.
11] POST-MUGHAL HUNTING SCENE
Single channel video
Duration: 4 mins 30 sec
My video-work explores the only available, low-resolution image (not photograph) of …….……. You can find / search or Google him on your computer your self, by typing any criterion - the face of Gujarat riot, riot victim, Gujarat riot, riot, riot India, India riot, ansari, qutubuddin ansari, kutabuddin ansari, kutubudin ansari, Muslim minorities, Muslim victim, godhara, godhara riot, godhara riot victim, riot on Islam, hindu fundamentalism, Muslim riot, Hindu riot, Narendra Modi, RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parisad, babri masjid, babri masjid demolition etc. on the web. His is a very popular image. Widely discussed as a perfect example of the mixture of karuna+bhaya+vibhatsya rasa.
The film deals with the shifting time/space of the victim and his image pre and post riot. Download him, see or read him, have a chat with him or a conversation or ask, I guarantee he will not argue or fight or demand. He is silent forever. His joint hands, still begging for his life?..... Yes or No? I do not know. The suffering of the victim after he has been photographed, the media teasing and how the structure of violence is embedded in a democratic society.
In my work I’ve tried to deal with the landscape of layered violence of the image – from the mobs attack to constant gaze, clicking and representational acts of the electronic and print media, to post-Gujarat riot discourses in the secular spaces. My attempt was to highlight irony of the established aesthetic in the victim’s image as ‘ART’.
12] CITY COLLAGES
Paper collage, video
Materials used: Newspaper, black and white print outs of some photographs stuck on a larger paper to recreate remembered visuals around the city. Video and sound.
I search the daily newspaper for snippets- a picture, a word, a dash of colour and make these City Collages.
Moving through the city, collecting fragments along the way- in my camera and in my mind. None of these impressions are whole but together form multiple layers - layers of time, space, material, moralities, memory and emotions.
This form seemed to come close to an expression of the city for me- as a traveller gathering overlapping and fragmented impressions.
2 videos playing in a loop, made up of footage and photographs taken in Delhi and the Harrappan ruins at Lothal, Gujarat-
Bustling markets become ruins in deserts.... become living settlements.... destruct into war ravaged zones.... flourish into business centres.... wallow into decadent cities holding on to long forgotten glory.... 'develop' into shopping centres....
become squatter homes in economic depression.... get 'regularised' with a new government.... an earthquake.......
Vestiges... the only material that remains - Brick and mud and stone and sand....
Ruins of the past or remnants of what today will become?
Do we really come after the Harappans or is this all an illusion of linear time that we are accustomed to believe in?
Five box plates. Each of size : 32 inch x 20 inch x 3 inch.
Digital prints on self adhesive vinyl mounted on PU Foam-board fixed to a lightweight mild steel frame.
The City as Studio fellowship at Sarai allowed me to engage with aspects of Delhi in a way I had not before. The universal urban themes of aspiration and mobility come through in the interweaving stories of the cycle rickshaw and the Metro system. The human-engined torture chariot and the sleek tubular artifice of the time train.
The satellite map is both a physical reference of the narrative’s location and a generator for the organization and composition of the graphic elements. In order to engage the third dimension, each surface was angled in a different direction. This was to create the sense of a large map being unfolded.
14] ABOUT WATER
Material: Ink, Paper, Digital prints
A series of graphic drawings on the city's relationship to water.
15] Installation and Deinstallation of an intervention at Taj Nagar Railway Station
Material: Multimedia art using paper & cardboard model; fragments of the installation and time-lapse video.
Tajnagar is a village in Haryana, India on the border of Delhi. The Residents of this village recently financed and built their own Railway Station. I initiated a series of projects at Tajnagar which eventually took many forms and evolved into a loose collaboration between the inhabitants of Tajnagar and other participants in the City as Studio project.
In July 2010, an intervention was planned, adapted, relocated, edited, transferred, corrupted, subverted, appropriated, dismantled, stolen, distributed and then flown away. The intervention was part of a design-workshop with children of the village, during which the platforms of the railway station were transformed into a pop-up exhibition space.
Guddu [v 2.07]
Single track video (4.54 min)
The current global urbanisation is the largest movement of people in history. At some point in the first decade of the 21st century, the total number of people living in towns and cities became more than the total number of people living in villages. Guddu is the guy who migrated from the village to the city to swing this balance. The video is the story, journey and the search for Guddu. It commemorates the crossing of the 50% urban point.
Video set to Guddu- The Song, produced by CyberMohalla
Lyrics by CM practitioners (Delhi) Voice: Ella Hengst, Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Lakhmi Chand, Shamsher Ali, Suraj Rai, Yashoda Singh, Tripan Kumar, Rakesh Khairalia, Azra Tabassum, Neelofar, Love Anand, Kiran Verma (Hamburg and Delhi) Set to music by Bernadette Hengst (Hamburg) Some of the percussions by Kulwinder Kaur (Delhi)
16] from: "The Book of the Seasons Or The Calendar of Nature"
Material: 6 C-Prints, Black & White, from the ongoing series of video and photographic works.
The work is being developed through a set of literary triggers or 'flashes' that will initiate the situation of composing these works. This series of compositions will appear as readings of PLACE - as erasures of narrative and an exploration of a language constructed from subjectivity and dissonance, extreme proximity, hyper-interpretation, artificial connections, and insurmountable distance. The “flashes” themselves may not appear in the works. They are there to “produce atmospheres”(and resist them), to make “idiosyncratic maps”, to “adopt the pace of nature”, and to “derive low maximum density”. They are not there to locate. PLACE will accrue: as layers and readings that are not evident—rather exist as after-images and force fields.
Material: text on Led screen
18] City as Studio: Conversations and Observatons
Material: Files, printouts on A4 sheets