Don’t panic, I am from Slănic
Migration from rural and backward areas to more urban places and more developed cities and countries is a continuous phenomenon which I am witnessing since-my childhood. I live in a small town Partapur, in south of Rajasthan, and I have seen number of young boys and men leaving the village for more opportunities, and employment elsewhere. Because of this, the population of the town has reduced to mainly the women as housewives and old men and women. When I was traveling from India to Slănic Moldova, via Bucharest, I was reading and trying to get introduced to this new country that I was visiting. Whenever I tried to search for some information, the first thing glaringly came in front of me through leading newspapers like Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph or may it be Le Monde, were the reports of trouble due to massive migration of countries of East Europe especially Romania and Bulgaria.
The youth is moving away leaving behind the women and the old people back in the town. Not a much different situation from my town Partapur, India. I also saw a very heartbreaking, and provocative news printed by the Daily Mail some time back, that the first plane in 2011 took the Romanian immigrants to London. A kind of calculated political fear was being introduced that a large number of Romanian population is going to come to Britain and the jobs are going to go away which turned out to be a false prediction. Fortunately such fake news have been continuously examined by some good journalism like Guardian and other newspapers in the Britain, elsewhere also in Germany. But this all creates a situation where one is introduced to the politics of migration. On one side this kind of migration is allowed and legitimate, while on the other side when millions of Syrians are killed and millions want to migrate from Syria to other countries, we have seen how most of them have shut doors on them. Both the situation not just contradict each other and seem absurd but in the wake of growing capitalist greed, competition, and individualism, it troubles me as an artist and as an observer.
My present work deals with one of the dimensions of my own questions and anxieties. I have worked on Mobile home for some time, but in Romania I am creating an image of a house as an alien animal. May be an alien or an extinct species residing on earth millions of years back. This alienation is not the existential alienation alone, it is a new alienation the one that Capitalism has introduced in all of us, and this is what I am trying to deal in my work.
BAAT-CHEET: CHAPTER 1
The concept of cities makes me curious, how we occupy it and how they represent a collage of lives and destinies of their residents and visitors. It seeks the local amidst the global sensibility and is a difficult and poignant search for an identity soon to be lost. The ever-changing cityscapes and its growth both vertically and horizontally presents us with visuals that are picture perfect but at the same time intimidating. This duality of a city represents the threshold of cultural history and a globalized future. The present series- City-under construction takes references from the overpowering and omnipresent construction sites spread all over the cities making everything else look insignificant. Taking the Mobile Home series further, this project also attempts at exploring the thin line between utility and art.
The works were exhibited as part of the 2-artist show Baat-Cheet in Surat from 07-09 October, 2017 and was curated by Curador.
The project saw a series of Mobile homes through transforming everyday discarded objects and combining and working them into structures that acquire a life and identity of its own. The project was done during a 4-month artist residency at Kunstverien Bellevue-Saal, Wiesbaden. Built through objects found around Wiesbaden’s streets and offered by local people, these objects withholding within a bundle of memories, when arranged together showcased a collectiveness. As a whole, they provided information on consumer culture in a place like Wiesbaden, Germany and formed my process of familiarisation with a new context.
Ultimately, these wanderings came together as a meta-narrative unfolding across the city in an attempt to explore the potential within.
Sandarbh in its many collaborations teamed up with Extrapool in 2012 for a 15 days collective residency in Netherlands. The program saw 5 artists from Sandarbh working along with 5 from Extrapool. Extrapool is a stage and production company in Netherlands, active in three fields: sound, art and print.
AARAM CHAIR; USED PLASTIC BOTTLES
My area of interest lies in picking up mundane forms from its conventional aspect, stuff it with my own play and experiments, alter it and place it in front of the viewers where in they can recognize it and hence can interact with the whole work. In the confrontation of the viewer with the duality of recognizing and then relocating the work in the surrounding is supported by the choice of the material and space of display. Both these factors play a very significant role in the process of work.
Archiving the specimens of human existence
We all live in a world overpowered by the instinct of consumption, be it literal or metaphorical. Coming from a fast moving city in India, to a remote natural abode in South Korea, is definitely a journey to make one conscious of the transition we have traveled from an existence amidst the nature to the skyscraper cities. There will be times, when this transition is turned around, and we start a journey towards the nature. And then will start a process of archiving the specimens of Human consumption. The works here are an initiation on a personal level, where I have collected the consumed waste in the nature and have tried to re modify it to accommodate them back, in a different context and let them interact with the neighboring people, who can start this process of reverse transition.
Squaring the circle:
The work here refers to one of the three famous construction problems of antiquity and also talks about a never ending attempt to balance the nature’s accounts. The material used here (used plastic bottles) organized on a natural water body, talks about the conflict of survival. Though the idea of this contradiction was intentional, taking reference from the surrounding but the materials have dominated the visual aesthetic, changing it accordingly, making it new every second.
The growing phenomenon of urban culture and the industrial development in the big cities all over has always remained an area for me to venture. This work talks at length about the growing consumerism, the growth of people and the cities they reside in. The expanding dimensions of the architectures both vertically and horizontally has become as one of the basic ingredients for a city to be called as a developed one. The shifts from iron to steel to glass to plastic reflects their striking appearance. What interests me is the kind of changes that occur in the style of architecture especially in the developing cities and I have tried to reflect the same concern in this project
“ PLASTI- CITY”
The installation exhibited in government school ground, Partapur
Power of cloth: my 1st public art project was done in Partapur; my hometown, (Vagad region) of Rajasthan, India. The project is specific to the Vagad region in Rajasthan and helps develop a dialogue with the local community (mostly tribal population), using the social tools most familiar to them. It is an individual approach towards understanding the social structures and its complexities, and develop visuals within the local understanding, through a series of sculptural installation.
Power of cloth was conceived by a deep sense of curiosity and a desire to attain an in-depth understanding of different relationships and interactions that people share in a given space. It involves reconstruction of a marriage-shamiana through a series of sculptural installation using local materials, and the result was seductive and often aggressive pieces that engaged the viewer by being recognizable and useful but also uncomfortable and obsolete.
The project has received Public art grant by Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art in 2008 and was a semifinalist for the International Award for Public Art 2015.