Cinemas Project in MARG

The Cinemas Project was featured in the March edition of Marg magazine, the theme of which is Indian Cinema. Many, many thanks to Erika Balsom, who has written the perfect text given the constraints of space in such a format.

     Auditorium, Capitol Cinema, Mumbai

See if you get a chance to purchase the issue, which is titled "Being Here, Now: Insights into Indian Cinema." Shanay Jhaveri, whose new book "Outsider Films on India 1950-1990" has just been published, has done a wonderful job of guest editing this issue. Some of the other artists/practitioners/researchers/writers featured in the magazine are Ashim Ahluwalia, Shirely Abraham, Moinak Biswas, Kaushik Bhaumik, Raqs Media Collective, Rachel Dwyer, Shumona Goel and Dale Cannedy Azim, Amar Kanwar, Amit Madheshiya, Benjamin Mercer and Kaunteya Shah.  

Rukawat ke liye khed hai



It's sometimes funny how just one word can play sweet havoc with an image. More here.


Shootdown in Gorai

Sul (left) vs Zub (right), just off the Gorai dumping ground, one very early morning in 2009. Almost as good as this legendary stand-off.


The Archaeology of Absence

I am very, very excited to present a very brief selection from Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya's series, The Archaeology of Absence, which is part of their Through a Lens Darkly project. If you're not already aware of the work that Madhu and Manas are collaborating on that explores and reflects on the abandoned National Instruments factory in Kolkatta, please head over to their blog Through a Lens Darkly and take a look it and read what they have to say.

All images © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya

As you can see, this modern ruin is an extremely generative one and Manas and Madhu's 'documentation' of the inner contours of the factory is as impressive and extensive as it is sensitive to the many possibilities and secrets that it conceals within it. So extensive, in fact, that the two have begun breaking down the project into several self-contained, though interconnected, series. There are some haunting animation loops on their blog as well. I am very interested in the different ways in which they will choose to articulate and unfold this project over the next year or so.

Also, they are currently showing the work at the Thessaloniki Photobiennale 2010 in Greece. The show opened on May 1st and will be on view for a full three months till July 31, 2010. More details here. Do go if you can make it!

ALSO, look forward to an informal conversation the three of us will be having sometime soon on Peripheral Vision/Through a Lens Darkly on the process of image-making, phenomenology, aesthetics, (con)text, ambiguity, the possibilities of ruins, nostalgia... and more.

Imprisoned by four walls
(to the North, the crystal of non-knowledge
a landscape to be invented
to the South, reflective memory
to the East, the mirror
to the West, stone and the song of silence)
I wrote messages, but received no reply.

- Octavio Paz


Dis Poetry

Dis poetry is like a riddim dat drops
De tongue fires a riddim dat shoots like shots
Dis poetry is designed fe rantin
Dance hall style, big mouth chanting,
Dis poetry nar put yu to sleep
Preaching follow me
Like yu is blind sheep,
Dis poetry is not Party Political
Not designed fe dose who are critical.
Dis poetry is wid me when I gu to me bed
It gets into me dreadlocks
It lingers around me head
Dis poetry goes wid me as I pedal me bike
I've tried Shakespeare, respect due dere
But did is de stuff I like.

Dis poetry is not afraid of going ina book
Still dis poetry need ears fe hear an eyes fe hav a look
Dis poetry is Verbal Riddim, no big words involved
An if I hav a problem de riddim gets it solved,
Iove tried to be more romantic, it does nu good for me
So I tek a Reggae Riddim an build me poetry,
I could try be more personal
But you've heard it all before,
Pages of written words not needed
Brain has many words in store,
Yu could call dis poetry Dub Ranting
De tongue plays a beat
De body starts skanking,
Dis poetry is quick an childish
Dis poetry is fe de wise an foolish,
Anybody can do it fe free,
Dis poetry is fe yu an me,
Don't stretch yu imagination
Dis poetry is fe de good of de Nation,
In de morning
I chant
In de night
I chant
In de darkness
An under de spotlight,
I pass thru University
I pass thru Sociology
An den I got a dread degree
In Dreadfull Ghettology.

Dis poetry stays wid me when I run or walk
An when I am talking to meself in poetry I talk,
Dis poetry is wid me,
Below me an above,
Dis poetry's from inside me
It goes to yu

- Benjamin Zephaniah

Thanks to my friend Judith for sending this over. Judith makes the most amazing orange cake with raisins (there is a trick to get the raisins incredibly succulent: slice them up and soak them in the orange).

Field of the Visible

"... the whole world becomes visible at the same time that it becomes appropriatable." 
- Jean-Louis Comolli 


From hence I come to here we go...


"The taste of the apple... lies in the contact of the fruit with the palate, not in the fruit itself; in a similar way... poetry lies in the meeting of poem and reader, not in the lines of symbols printed on the pages of a book. What is essential is the aesthetic act, the thrill, the almost physical emotion that comes with each reading."
 - Jorge Luis Borges



Beanbags [Bombay | Mumbai] finally sees the light of day at Mumbaiboss and at MISC Magazine. Thanks are owed to Matthew Parker for writing the text and for all the support. See the complete cut here.

Join us as we follow the graffiti around the city as it bypasses the mechanisms of (and yet co-exists with) the "official" city of business complexes, large infrastructure projects and luxury high-rise complexes. Matt's text will take you elsewhere as well...

A big thank you to all my friends who accompanied me on these crazy trips. You know who you are.