These Are The Gods is a three-channel video installation centering on my Grandfather’s wakeful dream state towards the end of his life. Grandpa nods in and out of an uneasy sleep, his slack jowls and bushy white eyebrows frame his large eyeglasses. In the background runs faint footage of happier, more lucid times. On the flanking screens are shots of household shrines, amalgamations of Hindu, Buddhist and Jainist deities. Unhappy and agitated my Grandmother and I try to rouse him, to comfort him, and to obey him with limited success. He is one of the many gods.
Last Christmas/EVE uses a combination of video, audio, and long exposure photography to illustrate the convoluted social infrastructure that is embedded within my family dynamic as we clash over the dinner table. Much visual information is veiled via a time-warping hybrid of still and motion photography, but the sound track amply conveys the company’s fraught interaction in variously antagonistic and grudgingly tolerant tones:
“I didn’t say it’s excellent, I said it’s good.”
“I said it’s excellent that you think it’s good.”
The family bickers over topics both global and quotidian, from the legacy of India’s colonial past to which cell phone company offers the best deal.
Rangpur Therapy is a two-channel video installation in which I record myself in “conversation” with my Grandfather’s projected image. Grandpa recounts details of growing up in a large family of straitened circumstances, going to boarding school in Bombay, and starting his professional career in London. From time to time I pause the footage and interjects questions and comments, as if enacting an idealized version of the original conversation. On the floor a monitor plays a simultaneous shot of my profile, underscoring that despite the illusion of human interaction, the piece documents a solo performance.
Beginning with the video documentation of over 20 family meals at my grandparent’s flat in London from 2004-2008, Dahl, Baht, Roti, Shak strings together a time-warping narrative centered on the amalgamation of the recorded conversations around the table. Audio segments extracted from the recordings of those conversations are digitally collaged en masse, allowing the audio soundtrack to move along as if one complete conversation. While actually, segments of dialogue ranging from a few seconds to a minute are positioned chronologically, enabling the conversations to traverse their real-time boundaries and relate to past and future discussions directly. In addition using a combination of long-exposure and motion photography, digital prints are derived from the projections of the family meals. Each meal is compressed into its own singular image and together they turn our attention to the dining room itself, in a way that evokes a stage set, a microcosm of the wider world, containing the remnants of domestic dramas and private traumas.
One two one is a combination of video and long exposure photography. It depicts my wife and I in a constant flow of restlessness, and acts as a comment on the struggle over dependency and individuality within relationships.
Guided focuses on my father and mother as we become increasingly delirious while struggling to communicate with waiters in a restaurant in china. The piece reveals and centers on ingrained patterns of familial behavior.