A 100-foot long branching sequence of cutouts, from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper based in Chennai.
Here, cutouts are a way of reframing and rebirthing existing photographs as new organisms. Not to remove their background environments, nor to frame heroic figures, but to create a new boundary or border for the image... a border that leads us to the next image.
The sequence evolves by following one or more of these basic rules:
a. Things in the background come into the foreground, or vice versa.
b. People in the images grow older, or younger.
c. Two photo captions refer to each other.
Commissioned for the Chennai Photo Biennale 2019, Fauna of Mirrors curated by N. Pushamala
Supported by The Hindu
At The Hindu: Mukund Padmanabhan, Jacob P, Prashant Nakweand everyone at The Hindu’s Photo Library
In Bombay: Gurpreet Kaur, Amol Patil
New work at the Chennai Photobiennial, drawing from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper based out of Chennai.
A 100-foot long branching sequence of cutouts drawing from the photo archives of The Hindu, a 140-year old newspaper. Cutouts here are a way of reframing existing photographs as new organisms and to create a new boundary or border for the image.
Video project that takes us on new and recently rebuilt roads in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and India. Endoscopic views from the interior of the road system, and of the interfaces through which pride, money, data, climate, and vulnerability are connected to it, heighten our sense of developmental possibility, failure, and the deep ambiguity of road achievements.
‘A Passage Through Passages’ is a collaboration with anthropologists, and draws upon ethnographic and archival work in five field sites. This film is part of Roads and the Politics of Thought, a 5-year ethnographic study of road-building in South Asia.
On three screens, a city-symphony filmed by automated CCTV cameras in Amsterdam. The optical and motor capacities of these cameras are pushed to an extreme. Certain human subjects reappear near or far in the images, suggesting a form of reciprocal knowledge or intent, a secret pact between cameras and people.
20 mins, HD. 2 - channel installation
Filmed in Guangzhou at the Zhuhai International Container Terminal
Single exposure solar cyanotype print on cotton fabric
CAMP with Shunya collective and Clark House Initiative 22 x 5 feet
An image of the sea as its own “country”, with frontier towns at its edges disorients an easy reading of this territory
A three-channel installation from 8mm film From the Clark House family archives, sequenced in a timeline as above. Each screen is a different part of the same 8mm frame, usually a face.
Feature-length travelogue by sea between western India, eastern Africa and the Persian gulf. First shown at a purpose built outdoor cinema on the creekside in Sharjah in 2013, where many of the sailors gather. Shown in Documenta 13 in an abridged form, as part of the installation The Boat Modes.
83 mins. Original format(s): HDV, SDV, VHS, Cellphone videos (variable). Stereo audio and in-cameraphone music.
4 channel HDV, 8 minutes
A screenplay in Courier 12pt melodramatic format, spanning the first three days of lobbying for cabinet spots, in the wake of the Indian general elections of 2009. The dialogue is entirely from phone taps made by the government. The screenplay slows them down and asks: what kinds of environments and scenes may lie behind them, and how are they connected?
Printed screenplay and IVR-based phone line, audience can type in scene numbers to hear dialogue in the original voices. Also performed as a reading.
Act II (Hum Logos) is a 45-minute audio film spliced from the Pad.ma collection of the Radia Tapes. It covers two months after the Indian general elections of 2009, with the new cabinet in power. The film asks: if debate around these tapes was about whether they are edited or not, or as Justice Mukhopadhay put it, "splice has been added", then what can further editing do?