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Showing posts from October, 2018

Commemoration

Belfast was my home for 13 years during the height of the Troubles.  I returned to Ireland in 2013 and have lived and worked in Dublin since, bearing witness to Ireland's  "Decade of Centenaries'. In the past five years I have had the firsthand opportunity to query, especially through the photographic image, the act of  commemoration with an interest in the problems of commemorating the 1916 Easter Rising in the North.

My art practice today is dedicated to the vulnerability of the body and its pain, hidden behind the gestures and movements of worship. This is my starting point in the investigation into how the body unfolds in the acts of commemoration. I stipulate that commemoration and worship share many similar characteristics and one can be investigated by looking at the other. Thus the rhythms, gestures and movements of worship become the lens through which I look at the issues of commemoration.

Instead of as a  memento or a document, I use the photographic image prim…

Digital archives and activism

Its the crack of dawn on a wet Irish Sunday. A grey pall hangs over a Dublin driven to mourning.  All is quiet. Alina and I silently look over our plans for the day over mugs of hot tea. The studio lights are on and the set is ready for the day's shoot. For the umpteenth time, I observe Alina working with the movement of thought through her body. In her silent contemplation, with the slightest shiver in her shoulders, she is redefining her anatomy, freeing her limbs, negotiating gravity and committing to memory. I marvel at the way she gets movement, with barely a glance at the research material I have prepared for her. We are working on a what I call the 'hosanna' gestures today. I have identified some 90 of them. We will get through them quickly.

I have spent the last 3 years on a long term research project to archive gestures, movements and rhythms of worship to understand their impact on our everyday lives.  I wanted to know how our movements are limited by centuries …

The turban trap

There is quite a bit of traffic on the road. And as usual there is no place anywhere to park. Large letters in Roman and Gurmukhi script in the front of a slightly rundown white building tells me I have arrived.   Apart from a few cars  the place is quite empty.  Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar of Ballsbridge is a large standalone building in a quiet gentrified surburb of Dublin. The usual pungent yellow and navy  marks its gates and its facade, superimposed with the sikh emblem. A triangular  flag is being tugged hard by the sudden gushes of autumnal wind. I make my way into the temple through its large wooden doors having first removed my shoes.  I have come to talk to the gurudwara priests about the sikh turban.

My journey with the turban has spanned 5 years and is an integral part of my art practice. The turban and the south Indian kavadi makes up the part of my research on god-prosthesis. My starting point is the ubiquitous believe that normal senses and capacities are never enough …