Medium : Digital Print On Archival Paper
Medium : Digital Print On Archival Paper
Photographs : Print On Archival Paper, Various Sizes
When the perspective becomes the questioning, then it also triggers comparisons. The ways of looking at human and plant life and life cycles can very much fall under that comparison, if nature itself becomes the viewer of things or life in general. In this work, the cycle of life for a human and a tree at various stages is shown via the medium of photographs and those stages are compared to each other irrespective of time. If time is taken out of this equation then the cycle of life becomes exactly the same for the two. This cyclic representation as concrete visuals is an attempt to take the human back to the famously forgotten fact that the world essentially is not human, contrary to how human perspective pretends for it to be.
Installation : Collected Natural Specimens + Objects
Discussions of safety often include mention of related terms. Security is one such term. With time the definitions between these two have often become interchanged, equated, and frequently appear juxtaposed in the same sentence. Somehow we are left to conclude whether they comprise a redundancy. This confuses the uniqueness that should be reserved for each by itself. When seen as unique, as we intend here, each term will assume its rightful place in influencing and being influenced by the other. What do these terms mean in context of natural science and how does it relate to humans if we are isolated from the very notion of it, via the virtue of artificiality that now defines our safety and security as compared to plants, animals and insects and other beings. Does the need to secure our own-ness drive us to erase the safety of the other? The work examines this by placing the tools/means of human defence, compared to specimens that define the defence of those from the natural world. The placing of these as objects in the same physical space, brings back the examination to the raw-most identity of what those ‘means’ are in terms of their very existence, as an observation and also as a measure.
Collage : 16 x 8 ft
<em><span style=”font-size: 10pt;”>Installation Views(2019)</span></em>
If we consider human research to be true, then according to science, there are more than 8.7 million species on this planet, out of which humans are only one. That difference is massively huge, when compared only from a mathematical lens, but it falls to nothing if we look at how millions of other species are disappearing from the face of the earth, as a result of combined actions of just one. The work is an attempt to show that very difference – visually. Thousands of individual species, including a human have been pictured in a big collage. Looking at the work, the cloud of the difference in numbers constructs the feeling of being lost, if a human is only to compare the number in a visual form when trying to look for its own kind amid the many other species that outnumber it.
Created By : Lallan
Artist : Shamli Manasvi
2019, Venue : Baadii Art Gallery, Kangra
Anthology : Prints + Works On Paper, Various sizes
Bouqueting the world of a sixteen year old artist, this archival collection of sixty two works is born out of an accidental encounter with her sketchbooks, diaries, and ‘mindless happenings’ as she describes the most of it. Shamli Manasvi lives in a mud house in the woods in a mountain village of the Kangra Valley. The world of the imagery that she has produced as an accompaniment to her growing up in the hills, is an amalgamation of form, shape and colours, on a journey that is drenched in happenstance. The process of making prints out of those works, stems from the need to document and present that time stamp as necessary mark, early in the life of this very young artist. The process of archiving here holds a flowerly significance if it is reversed in the fashion that popular culture usually employs it for. The exhibit then in artistic practice is an action that seamlessly blends in the unhinged locution of a mind that is yet to fully encounter life after adolescence, still creating and expressing.
Installation Sculpture : Wood + Globes + Photographic Print
“If we were to weigh all the ants in the world, they would weigh as much as all of the people on this planet, probably more.”
“Bada Bhaarii” is a phrase that is used very commonly in the Kangri Language to express or denote the enormity, scale, or very heavy proportions of anything. In the context of the work, it is titled ‘Bada Bhaarii’ to express visually, the combined weight of all the ants, compared to all the humans on the planet. To depict this, two globes have been used as symbols/scaled models for the earth. Photographs of various species of ants have been erected on one globe, and of various humans on the other. Both the globes have been weighed on a wooden scale. The tilt towards the ants depicts the probability of the combined weight of ants outnumbering that of humans.
Created By : Lallan
With : Vikram Singh, Life Meets The Lens
October 2019, Venue : Baadii Art Gallery, Kangra
In his book – ‘The World As Will And Idea’, Schopenhauer states that “At the lowest grades of its objectivity, where it still acts without knowledge, natural science, treats of the laws of the changes of its phenomena, in the form of morphology, of what is permanent in them. This almost endless task is lightened by the aid of concepts, which comprehend what is general in order that we may deduce what is particular from it. Lastly, mathematics treats of the mere forms, time and space, in which the Ideas, broken up into multiplicity, appear for the knowledge of the subject as individual. All these, of which the common name is science, proceed according to the principle of sufficient reason in its different forms, and their theme is always the phenomenon, its laws, connections, and the relations which result from them.” If one applies that lens to what human perspective has been regarding everything natural around it, then it appears that the communication of the fact that humans misunderstand themselves to be the epitome of all universal perspective itself, becomes imperative. The idea of this communication was tossed around in several conversations with naturalist – Vikram Singh, fusing natural science and arts, and as a result it gave birth to multiple installations and construction of spaces to express the very fact that we as humans, are a mere speck in the vast universe of the living and the non-living. The narrative born from this exercise was named ‘Ansh’ – the Sanskrit term for denoting a part or a portion.
Archival Project : Artist In Residence at Sankalp, Mamoni, Rajasthan.
Songs, stories and folklores of the Sahariya tribe from Southern Rajasthan, India.
The Sanskrit term ‘Agyaatvaas’ translates to exile, and perhaps is the only word that can somehow be used to describe the life of ‘Sahariyas’ – the jungle dwellers of Rajasthan. Sahariyas are an ancient indigenous tribal community, mostly found in the South-eastern part of Rajasthan in Kota, Dungarpur and Sawai Madhopur. There aren’t any genuine historical records of the tribe and its culture, although they are believed to be one of the earliest tribes to settle in Rajasthan. A deeper understanding of their ways educates the outsider to their rich and harmonious traditions of existence, which for centuries had been dependent on forests for everything. The Sahariyas are also Rajasthan’s poorest and the most suffering tribal community. Struggling to sustain themselves on deteriorating forests over time, a majority of Sahariya families have been forced to vacate the forests and lands of their ancestors, either by the government acts, or by powerful land-grabbers some of whom till very recently, have practiced bonded labour, taking advantage of their vulnerability and unawareness. A lot of those who’ve survived that onslaught, have been working as migrant labourers across various places in India. As for possessions, all they have are stories, which they can only narrate or sing. This project, aimed at archiving those voices in their raw-most form, was documented and recorded over a period of 8 months at the Sankalp campus for tribes, in the village of Mamoni in the Kishanganj district. After the project’s completion, the songs were physically distributed among the tribes and aired on a community radio station for the many villages and hamlets of the region.
Installation : Collected Natural Specimens + Scaled Models Of Houses
The need to live safely is something that is intrinsic to all beings on the planet and perhaps that is the origin of the concept of home, figured in a house. Houses are sculpted expressions, coming into existence only with the necessity that accompanies life, when it roots itself in the physical spaces that the earth provides it with. Humans, for the lack of their own understanding, often forget that in comparison to scale with the buildings that we put up, there are also very small and intricately woven, architectural marvels of millions of species, all around the ever expanding jungles of concrete that now cease to erase them, thus fiddling with the fine balance that sustains human life itself. If one is to elaborate and express this fact, then can this be done by the employment of the tool that scale is? Can this be understood if the size of the human houses can be scaled down to meet the size of the actual houses of other species? Will we then visually and spatially be able to understand that housing is every species’ basic most need and right and being human does not give us any right to bulldoze over any other species’ house, just because there is size that blinds us? The work questions just that, by hanging collected natural specimens of homes of various species like bees and birds and insects and small creatures, alongside scaled down models of different types of human houses, thus creating a model that depicts a neighbourhood of beings existing in harmony and togetherness.
Video : Colour, Single Channel
Duration: 9 minutes
-Julio Garcia Espinosa
The work is an on-screen adaptation of ‘Toward an Impure Poetry’ by Pablo Neruda which was written in 1939.The exploration of the poetics, that he describes in this piece, led me to capture on video, the severity of the ordinary, the otherwise neglected, the dull and the seen-yet-unseen.The creation of this, also led to the very birth of theis anthology, and somewhere, I also believe that Espinosa’s exploration of the imperfections in cinema, were inspired by Pablo’s in poetry.The visuals are overlaid on a narrative of the essay in English, which is treated as the score to the film(sans any music, or sound effects)
This work is the culmination of the entire series.
Video : Colour, Dual Channel
Duration: 3minutes 48 Seconds
“It is said — and correctly — that art cannot exercise its attraction without the co-operation of the subject. But what can be done so that the audience stops being an object and transforms itself into the subject?”
– Julio Garcia Espinosa
‘Stasis’ : A state or condition in which things do not change, move, or progress, a period or state of inactivity or equilibrium.
The word Stasis can be borrowed to express a certain emotion one feels when sitting one is sitting in a boat that’s being rowed by a kevat, across the Ghats of Kashi-the oldest city in the world, facing the remnants of all time, including the now, caught in STASIS, in all its permanence. That being the focal current to the work, the core of it is a visual mélange formed by filming the Ghats in their many shades, across seasons from the boats, by rigging the camera to them, making the motion of the boat, the eyes to the experience. This has been layered above an orchestral cinematic score to create an experience of 4 minutes, which was screened individually for many of the city’s primary inhabitants: the boatmen who live at the Ghats, and are the bridge between the world’s people and Kashi itself.These screenings have been filmed live and combining them with the film for the installation, creates a visual paradox-when looked at from a perspective outside the screening of the work, where ‘the viewer is seen watching a film which is being watched, also watching the film’s viewers at the same time.
Video Loop : Color, Single Channel + mirrors
Duration: 4 minutes
“Every artist’s desire to express the inexpressible is nothing more than the desire to express the vision of a theme in terms that are inexpressible through other than artistic means. Perhaps the cognitive power of art is like the power of a game for a child. Perhaps aesthetic pleasure lies in sensing the functionality (without a specific goal) of our intelligence and our own sensitivity.”
– Julio Garcia Espinosa
This work is an investigation in the pictorial communication of visible events.The imagery used, is born based on its total separation from any motive and longs to express an anecdote which is beyond any definitive measure and is open to reception of all forms, via the tools of absolute cinema. It is an attempt at conveying abstract emotional experiences with the craft, using devices of montage, body movement and audio-visual relationships juxtaposed with intended glitches in visual composition.The camera has been used as a separator between the subject and the artist, rather than a means to connect the artist with the subject. An isolation reeks from the frames upon repetitive viewing of the footage where the subjects are seen reacting to the device, and not the person holding it. A collection of these experiences, filmed with strangers from the road, is presented as a visual montage on the soundtrack provided by Jamblu, contained in a four minute video loop which is mixed with mirrors as reflective screens in the installation. The geometric arrangement and usage of mirrors as a participatory element in the screening yields an environment forming a visual bridge between real-time visible reactions to the experience, with the person experiencing it.
Video Loop : Four Channels, Projection on cloth
“To posit art as a sect, as a society within society, as the promised land where we can fleetingly fulfill ourselves for a brief instant — doesn’t this create the illusion that self-realization on the level of consciousness also implies self-realization on the level of existence?
The artist must not seek fulfillment as an artist but as a human being.”
– Julio Garcia Espinosa
‘The word’ in its primal sense is pure sound. It is always sound first and its meaning later. Sound in its element is vibration, which exists as the axiom for the universe. 15th century Indian weaver poet-Kabir in his poetry, takes the ‘word and the sound of it’ and describes its impact on the listener as a wound. This wound as an experience, is honest and profound in its nature, and pierces the listener’s soul, post which, a transition happens. In much similar ways, the following lines by the 15th century weaver poet Kabir, sewn around the life of a weaver or himself, pierced my mind.
अस जोलहा का मरम ना जाना // जिन्ह जग आनी पसरिन्ह ताना // धरती आकास दू गद्द खंदाया // चंद सूर्य दू नारी बनाया // सहस्त्र तार ले पुरनि पूरी // अजहुँ बीने कठिन है दूरी // कहै कबीर करम से जोड़ी सत कुसत बीने भल कोरी”
“no one could understand the secret of this weaver who, coming into existence, spread the warp as the world; He fixed the earth and the sky as the pillars, and he used the sun and the moon as two shuttles; He took thousands of stars and perfected the cloth; but even today he weaves, and the end is difficult to fathom. Kabir says that the weaver, getting good or bad yarn and connecting karma with it, weaves beautifully”
After dwelling on the text for a certain period, I saw myself traveling to the ancient weavers town of Chanderi in central India, and living with weavers for a month, trying to fathom the music of the warp and weft, sailing in the convolutions of the wreathe and immersing myself in what would later become, the most powerful spiritual experiences of my life.The installation-born as a reaction to that journey, is a juxtaposition of the poem by Kabir overlayed on an excerpt from a conversation with master weaver Abbas Ansari and visuals from the historic town. The whole has been divided into four projections on woven cloth, which is a metaphor for the four dimensions of absolute space- time, consisting of events that are not absolutely defined spatially and temporally, but rather are known relative to the motion of the observer. The weaver here by me Is seen as the metaphor for the human being, and the complex process of weaving: Life itself. The imagery is amalgamated with the visuals of the complex craft, the environment that the town has given birth to, and the skies of Chanderi on which, Kabir’s words appear as text, superimposed on video.