INTERSECTIONS | 120 MIN
Desire Machine Collective: Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukaillya
#INTERSECT artists: Rajyashree Ramamurthi and Susanta Mandal
Moderated by Zuleikha Chaudhari
Nishan: The Body Absent.
The body is in trauma. An essential dimension of trauma is the breaking up of the unifying thread of temporality. There is a suspended state of time and duration is stretched. Individual moments liberate themselves from the continuity of movement and extricate themselves from historical time. The body used to be confined in space and now it is time that imprisons us. Since the 1980’s the body has become a well-established locus, mostly critiquing prevailing Cartesian dualism. The neovitalist approaches have shifted the focus from “what is the body?” towards asking “what can a body do?” (in its human and inhuman form) and have done so by technologies of bodily becomings. Gilles Deleuze, in Cinema 2: The Time-Image, talks of the theme of “the missing people and asserts that art should be “contributing to the invention of a people.”
Desire Machine Collective was founded by Sonal Jain (b. Shillong) and Mriganka Madhukaillya (b.Jorhat) in 2004. They employ film, video, sound, photography, space and multimedia installation in their works. They seek to disrupt the neurotic symptoms that arise from constricting capitalist structures with healthier, schizophrenic cultural flows of desire and information. One of their most renowned works is Periferry, an ongoing project which functions as a laboratory that brings together artistic, scientific and technological practices. The aim is to encourage experimentation and exploring new forms of public space. It is located on a ferry on the river Brahmaputra docked in Guwahati. Project Periferry was nominated for the Visible Award (2015). Their work has been featured in group exhibitions at New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; Solomon Guggenheim Museum, New York; MAC Muséed’ Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon; MAXXI Museo Nazionaledelle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome; Deutsche Guggenheim Museum, Berlin; Indian Pavilion, 2011 Venice Biennale, Venice; 3rd edition of La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and recently in 2015 at Queens Museum and Grey Art Gallery at New York University both in New York City. In 2014, they had a solo show Noise Life at Galerie Max Mueller, Mumbai and Project 88, Mumbai. They were appointed as a juror in the field of visual arts by the jury chairman in the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany for the year 2015-2017 to prepare, examine and follow up on application documents. They participated in the Eight Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art in Brisbane (Australia) held in November 2015. Desire Machine Collective designed the media and visual concept for CUT THE SKY (2015) which had its world premiere at the Perth International Arts Festival (Australia) 2015. Noise Life I (2014) was exhibited at After Midnight: Indian Modernism to Contemporary India 1947/1997 at New York in 2015. INVOCATION (2016) exhibited at Krishna in the Garden of Assam: The Cultural Context of an Indian Textile at the British Museum, London in 2016.
16” = 1 Mile
From the onset, this project has been a way to question our roles within the work, blurring the perception of specialisation, challenging identities and encouraging the overlap of our roles as visual and performing artists. An egalitarian approach to making has been of utmost importance, whereby the possibilities of our combined imagination has been given space to unfurl.
Rajyashree Ramamurthi is an independent performing arts practitioner whose work encompasses live performance and screen dance. Her live work has toured internationally in prestigious venues such as the Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells and Tramway in the UK; the Tripostal in France and Shri Ram Centre, India. Her screen dance work has been shown at festivals around the world and has garnered awards such as The Place Dance on Screen award. She often works collaboratively with other artists, establishing long-term associations with visual artists and musicians in works such as Avatar, a performance exploring the relationship between dance, drawing and sound, and in Vestige, a site-specific work in a Victorian brick storm drain with live drawing and music. Rajyashree locates her practice in the liminal spaces where performance and visual practice merge.
Born in Kolkata, Susanta Mandal studied painting in Varanasi and Kolkata lives and works in New Delhi. He works with mixed media, bringing the viewer’s attention to trivial materials and events in a way that makes the audience rethink them, their relation to daily life and their value. His installations often use mechanical moving elements that are seemingly playful and yet disorienting, often revolving around issues of social and political relevance such as control or discrimination. Susanta has been artist-in-residence at Khoj in Delhi, Britto in Bangladesh and Theertha in Colombo. His work has been shown in several exhibitions, both in India and abroad; he is part of the LAYOUT Artists’ Collective which was formed in 2011 in Delhi, India.