top of page

Video courtesy India Art Fair

I work across mediums that include paper weavings, photography, performance, installations, drawings, and video pieces.

Born into a family with the traumatic memory of displacement and forced migration during the Partition of 1947, my work deals with the relationship between our present and past trauma through exploring inter-generational memories/knowledge systems, inherited family archives, and search for a home. Calling my body a "memory collector" or post-memorial site of the past is mediated not by recall but by recreation, imaginative investment, and projection.  I am interested to understand how body preserves and transmits colonial and postcolonial recollections over generations.

 

Performative photography forms the core of my artistic practice. I employ mise-en-scène as a tool, embodying various characters, both known and unknown, friends and relatives that inhabit my paternal grandfather's photo album dating back to the partition of India. A freedom fighter, an artist, and an avid photographer, my grandfather’s photographs and camera were one of the few things he escaped with more than seventy-five years ago from East Pakistan (Bangladesh) into India. This precious memory capsule forms the core of my family archives, inspiring my examination of the meaning of ‘home-land’.

Through my work, which uses photo performance/performance, archival photographs and maps, and borrowed/shared memories, I construct the relationship between time and place, movement and settlement, and self and the geo-body.

 

I am deeply interested in personal histories, which get diluted when placed next to the more institutional forms of narrative. It struggles to find a voice, a paragraph, or any recognition. I want my practice to become a platform to bring personal and institutional memory together, on the same footing to understand the methods of history/memory-making.

I adopted performance as a process to excavate, investigate, and revisit - Institutional and personal history/memories.  Archives of the colonial and post-colonial memories in the form of poems, photographs, written documents, letters, telegrams, postcards, oral histories, and travelogues which my grandparents and parents preserved, shaped my understanding of independence/partition of our country and how it affected our present. My practice emerges out of the need to de-colonize these memories.

 

By revisiting the past/memories through my performances and performance-based practice I try to understand, dissect, comprehend, analyze, and critically consider the politics of sociopolitical identity as it is defined, molded, or discarded by history.

 

I explore paper weaving as a process to weave the warp of memories with the weft of present situations to create a fabric that questions identity and existence. And the two layers, containing the past and the present, get interwoven to construct a pixelated, broken, hidden, dissected, and blurred visual language. I see this language as a metaphor to speak for the forgotten and lost narratives.

 

 

bottom of page