Ayneh is a 1997 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, about a girl trying to find her way home. This film concentrates on time, repetition and the visual memory of a place. In the first half of the movie, a girl is who is finding her way home from school is shown and the film takes a whole new turn when the girl, as an actor decides to stop acting for the film, but the cameras never stop rolling and the team decides to follow her, finding her way home from where they were shooting. The film Ayneh, meaning mirror shows two stories following the same storyline of a girl and her encounters. While watching the movie, our whole sense of space and time shifts between when she knew she was acting and when she knew she wasn’t. The film is talking about the film and the process of making films, that in it becomes the character of the film. The film continues even when the film within film stopped. In the film it was interesting to see how the girl’s attitude changes and how she becomes more confident in her journey when she is angry and is herself. Even though the film had stopped, the film’s storyline continued and the stories of the people around the girl kept coming in.
Spaces the paintings play with
- Untitled 1969
- This is a very modern contemporary style of art. The painting and the colour palette gives off a very gloomy feel to it. It has visual section created by textures.
- Untitled, 1962
- This painting is very distinctly divided into two sections. These sections are created by the greyish black strokes in the top section of the painting. It looks like water colour through the fluidity and the stability of the strokes at the same time. For me, Gaitonde has just tried to show a mood that is abstract and open for the viewers interpretations.
- Painting No.4, 1962
- This painting, also like the others, has very distinct sections that merge into one another. The black strokes in the middle are very similar to the previous painting but look more isolated but also more defined by the bright yellow and red strokes. The black space left in the middle of the canvas draws all your attention when you first look at it. The whole painting again has a very unsettling feel to it with the colour palette of dark beige, brown, greyish blue and black.
Sri Sri Lanka at Tarq, was an art exhibition by a Sri Lankan solo artist, Pala Pothupitiye. Through this exhibition the artist tries to show the relationship between art and maps. With the help of print and paint, the artist has created info graphics of the nation’s history acknowledging it’s various interpretations and conflicts.
This painting is a classic example of the info graphic quality of the exhibition. The above painting shows various views of the Jaffna Fort. It is a combination of the place’s map, technical sketches of the fort, text and an illustration of Hanuman and the fort. The text and the illustrations indicate the historic beliefs and notions of the place whereas the map and sketches indicate it’s physical presence.
Performance art is an art that is performed live, mostly by an artist but sometimes with collaborators or performers. Performance art mostly consists of four elements: time, space, the performer’s body and a relationship between the audience and performer. It can be planned and scripted or spontaneous and random.
Gilbert and George are known for their colourful wall sized paintings and their trademark performance art of Living Sculptures. In their live performance they wander around the city streets covered in metallic make up so much that they resemble a sculture. The idea was to “collapse the distance between art and artists.” In 1970, Gilbert and George developed this further and first performed their famous Singing Sculpture, at the Nigel Greenwood Gallery. Again coated in metallic make-up, the duo stood on a table and moved in robotic movement to comedy double-act, Flannagan and Allen’s 1930’s music hall song “Underneath the Arches” – about the homeless men who slept under railway arches during the Great Depression.
This space is a hybrid of the door room from Alice in Wonderland and a library. This space is a long hall surrounded by doors, all locked with different combinations. Each door opens up to a different world of imaginations and possibilities. These worlds are created through different genres of the book. Each door opens up to a different genre of books. To get into these spaces a person has to crack the combinations on the locks. To crack these combinations one has to answer a set amount of questions that eventually leads the person to the password. This way it also ensures if you are worthy enough to get into that section.
Contested spaces are any spaces that two or more people or entities are in dispute over. These disputes are mostly because of cultural clashes and the inhabitants of these spaces are overpowered and in constant fear of war.
One such example is the dispute between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC), otherwise known as Taiwan. Both these countries claim the same territory without considering the other’s existence. The reason for this dispute dates back to World War II and the establishment of communist China. The PRC declared itself as the official successor of the Republic of China after establishing control of the mainland, while the ROC was forced into exile on Taiwan.
Although according to me these spaces being under dispute due to political reasons doesn’t make it contested spaces, but the uncertain and restricted lives of the people who fall under these spaces.
In this book Gaston talks about phenomenology of spaces, focusing mainly on the house, it’s interior spaces and it’s outdoor context. According to Gaston poetics is a constant theme to the idea of space and metaphor is often used to describe our relationship with this space. He believes that image comes before thought and therefore he looks at the phenomenology of soul and not the mind.
In the first chapter Bachelard suggests that all closely inhabited spaces have a notion of ‘home.’ The house is seen as a protective maternal figure in which daydreaming is sheltered, dreamers are protected and provides peace to dream. It is also a shelter in which we store out treasures from previous years. Bachelard explores the psychology of houses, for example a door knob is used to close and open doors, as is a key, however the key is seen by people as something which is more often used to close and the door knob more often used to open.
Through this chapter Bachelard has given, a house, A very tangible thing and intangible feeling. Through this text he shows us how the house is not just a physical basic necessity but it goes way beyond that. It is a basic necessity for a soul to evolve and survive.
The Lakeer is a short five minute film that is divided into three chapters. The first chapter shows the artist creating an outline of the India’s map how it is now with the dotted POK and a background sound of the military marching at the border, which almost celebrates and respects the division created by the border. The second chapter is ‘the making’, in which the artist is shown cutting a template of what looks like tracks, indicating the deciding of the division. Finally, in the third chapter the artist cuts India’s map from the pre-colonial era and further divides the map into random pieces .
According to me this film is almost like a story of India told in reverse. From the cutting of the India’s map into multiple parts indicating the various levels of division that laid within the country, which then lead to creating the borders, to how India is today. I think through this film Shruti Mahajan has created spaces through divisions and borders that perpetually leads us to conceiving a larger space than what it actually depicts.