An installation comprising varying layers of transparencies of scrim, projections and sound. The viewer moves through the work, engaging different points of view. The middle scrim becomes the site/cite for the overlap of the images as they interplay from two separate video projections.
The projections from either end of the room show the acts of making: visual thinking, process, and creation. Images interplay, repeat, connect, diverge and collapse creating an almost endless loop of new possibilities within the work.
Single channel video, 2015
This multi-media work is motivated by drawing and language and their capacity for social exchange. Drawing from fields as diverse as literature, philosophy, biology and anthropology to investigate systems that connect language, ecology and politics. I explores multiple modes of imparting and receiving knowledge, particularly as written language fails and other forms of communication emerge. The installation in the Sunroom explores the nature of non-human intelligence and empathy. Inspired by the 1925 book The Soul of the White Ant by Eugène Marais, the South African poet, writer and naturalist, this project evokes the spirit of his observations about the complex social behavior of termite colonies.
The installation includes expansive drawings and an interactive sculpture in which individual parts work together as a unitary whole, just as termites comprise the collective organism of the termitary. In the ink and pencil drawings, for example, I use a stencil, which I traces, shift, overlap and retrace; the traced outlines are then filled in with ink, one form dissolving into another, creating new contours. Through repetition and doubling, a single shape has formed clusters of abstract forms that recall masses of fauna, flora or abstractions of the internet. The installation also includes a multifaceted sculpture made of individual panels hinged together to allow relative movement. Viewers can reposition the sculpture, allowing them to become engaged participants, manipulating the piece within a fixed structure. Through the viewer experience, this project becomes a vehicle for conveying Marais’ ideas about group psyche.
Single channel video, 2014
Single channel video, 2013
Starting with the immeasurably cheesy lines of Michael Bolton’s “When a Man Loves a Woman” Int(er)ruptions is superficially a recording of a lonely and frenetic home lip syncing karaoke session. Sourced and recorded in Mexico City in the summer of 2013 it belies the reality of post-NAFTA North America and the globalized art world. Driven by the massive social changes after Mexico’s neo-liberal shift hawkers have flooded Mexico City’s subways selling everything from trinkets, to house hold items, to bootleg cd’s for a mere ten pesos. The hawkers often need to pay bribes to the police and purchase the bootleg media from organized criminal syndicates: the twin faces of modern Mexico, the Gobierno and the Narco. My re-performance complicates the moment further. The pop songs might be American and distributed by the Mexican black market, but they are undeniably global and incorporated into my past. The moment captured in the video challenges whose performance is the dominant focal point. One can quickly shift parallax view and refocus -- if the economics of neo-liberalism is reshaping The United States, Mexico, and India, if our pop songs are all common -- where does time and place matter?
When you say' tell me the time' , what you really say is 'tell me a story.'
Installation: drawings, sound and light. 2012
‘tell me the time’ you say and what you really say is ‘tell me a story’ - Jeanette Winterson
This piece is a conflation and an expansion of these ideas.
The exhibition space is large room with a dividing wall. On entering the first room the viewer sees projected a beam of light that pans the walls and floor in the room, back and forth, spotlighting empty spaces. Spanning. On a shelf are a series of flashlights with a sign saying ‘take one’. There is a recorded voiceover of a spoken text playing, speaking about time and storytelling, abstract, visual, aural. This sounds spills over into the adjoining room.
The second room is in pitch darkness, but with the aid of the flashlight the viewer can navigate the space, the walls of which have drawings and objects placed on them. Here the viewer looks at the drawings and may connect them to the narration. The image her attention/ flashlight falls on may collapse in myriad ways onto the narrative in the voiceover.
Each person will have their individual experience of how the images and text come together. The language of drawings will not fill in gaps that the language of narration leaves open (the drawings will not illustrate the experience of seeking). The work invokes and provokes contemplation on the notions of language and time. Playing between the dialogues within the work and those that the viewer is invited to make.
When the viewer returns to the first room, the empty spaces on the wall may appear to be filled with images from her mind’s eye or the ones she saw in the previous room. Like after images of the mind.
Back and Forth.
When you say 'tell me the time', what you really say is, 'tell me a story.'
This Place, That Place, Displace
Installation: video, fabric, soil and text, 2012
The seeds of this project were planted during a visit to villages in Chhattisgarh, over the summer of 2011. Leaving Raipur I was warned about Maoist uprisings and a hostile countryside. I was told it was best to stay in the city, to avoid the villages at night, that the space between urban areas was unsafe and best avoided. While the dangers, and the extent of the uprising, were greatly exaggerated, the level of anger and discontent at feeling harmed by development was not. I conducted interviews with villagers, echoed on the gallery walls by speech patterns rendered from recordings, who explained that the rising tide of development did not raise their boat but, in fact, had swamped it. Nearly literally illustrating this, I interviewed a farmer and his family who lost their farmland to a dam built to supply Raipur and its attendant industry with water. Before the damn he had land sufficient to maintain his family. Although given a payment by the government, the one time payment cannot sustain a family. This man now seeks out short time work as a labourer. He acutely feels his loss of independence and identity. He also described, along with many others, feelings of betrayal after many broken promises from the government. These conversations with villagers, tribals, journalists, and local activists posed more questions than answers: What space is there in a rapidly developing and expanding country for those on the margins? What does it mean when development takes a decidedly urban and industrial vision to those who are neither? What does development mean when it comes at the expense of some citizens? What does it mean for a country to build its first billion dollar home when 256,913 farmers have committed suicide as of 2010 due to crushing poverty and debt? What role is there for art in engaging debates in society? How can an artist intervene and interpret the world? Can the world of art, urban and urbane, be the site for discussion and reconciliation between the center and the periphery? American Abolitionist Frederick Douglass stated, If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This Place, That Place, Displace seeks to imagine the question of “Whose struggle, whose progress?”
Project Installation at Shrine Empire Gallery, New Delhi
Video Projection, Soil, Fabric
Bhan Sahu, activist, video blogger and single mother urging villagers of Moorpara to speak and act up! She can be heard on cgnetswara.org
Photo essay published in Sarai Reader 09, titled Projections
I work in interventions. Interventions on symbols and language - that carry within them a set of codes and meanings that are apparent to the viewer or the user. The grandeur of the Victoria Memorial, the endearing cottage industries symbol of the Bankura horse and the delicate elegance of the tatted or crocheted doily are read and regarded by us in a particular manner.
What happens when those readings are distorted, subverted or intervened on?
The Victoria Memorial, Calcutta’s symbol for the City of Joy is also a marble tomb to the dead aspirations: the queen will visit: she never did, Bengal’s Glory, which is dying a slow death today. Those aspirations and promises have been drowned in the sound track of the city today: blaring traffic, air horns and aural chaos.
The Bankura Horse, with its perky ears and upright frame may evoke in us connections to the Asvamedha ceremony, even the treacherous gift of the Trojan horse. Here it is the symbol of rural handicrafts and is made of the rich red earth of Bengal. These horses have been painted a Wedgwood Blue – the colour made famous by a British ceramist. Wedgwood pottery was always decorated with pastoral scenes, idyllic English country- side themes. My intervention is to taking over the red earth colour with an English blue. Idyllic and rural don’t exactly go together in Bengal anymore.
The politeness of teatime – also an English legacy- has been intervened by a text: Divide and Rule. Enmeshed in the fabric of the doily are the words: Divide and Rule. Bengal was divided and ruled first in 1905, and continues to be fragmented – between those who have and those who don’t, those who run it and those who try and survive in it.
Governments have changed but systems remain the same.
This works aims at raising some questions only. This, I believe in the power of art. To ask, to point out, to wonder in the hope that more will, and a collective consciousness can be raised. And maybe then, meaningful change can take place.
For more photographs from Bankura: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kiroo/sets/72157622910685518/Images provided
C-prints, Ceramic Plates. 2008-2015
An ongoing project since 2008 when I moved to Bushwick in Brooklyn. I have tried to document the demise of the tube tv. As people in my neighborhood purchase flat screens their old tube tv's find themselves on the curb. Since 2008 I have photographed these outcast old tellies. Archived here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kiroo/sets/72157652331908153 In April 2105 some of these images were printed onto ceramic plates in honor of the artist Dieter Roth who would have turned 85 this year. We ate his birthday cake off these plates.
C print, Accordion Fold.
Talks About Nothing
Performance for Seung's Millenium Mart. Insterstate Projects, Brooklyn and Temporary Agency, Ridgewood