The border

“Borders are the scars of history”

 

We see borders everywhere be it in terms of religion, spaces, social status, family, friends, caste and between countries. But the most troublesome of this whole idea of borders is that Borders exist more than in actuality in the minds of most people. The form of “Dividing people” is the fundamental of a border. What we see through the short film is without any form of narration or a voiceover of some sort, is a pretty self-explanatory range of visuals. The visuals are only in black and white and mostly consist of the process of making the border and how randomly it is drawn. It shows us that there was no real meaning behind drawing the borders; can a border be that frivolous that It can be drawn by anyone? The second half of the movie proceeds to the cutting of a map. The repeated cutting of state after state shows how small our country is becoming because of this constant battle of what is under which territory. Who decides these borders? Who differentiates? WHY do people differentiate? These are a lot of questions that lie in my mind after seeing this film. The film however has strong visuals and through just five short minutes manages to convey a message pretty clearly. A quote I read recently related to this intrigued me quite a bit.

 

“A border is an imaginary line between two states, separating the imaginary rights of one from the imaginary rights of another

Peter Brook’s Mahabharata

I happen to be an Indian who is immersed in this greatest of all epics. Was I impressed by Peter Brook’s film? No. Brook’s film is not a portrayal of a titanic clash between the forces of good and evil, which is the stuff of the epic. Nor is it even the depiction of the struggle for Empire that sucks into its whirlwind armies from outside India’s borders, spanning far more than the land between the two rivers Ganga and Yamuna. It is not even a picture of a battle of princes. I truly am confused as to what we really do see in the movie at all. To me It was humbling but extremely conflicted in its approach. I read somewhere that Brook took 10 years to complete this film and do it justice. I was confused as to why he used certain characters to play each of the legends in the Mahabharata. I don’t think the actors did justice to the film and its characters. I was very confused why it was full of people from all races; if it was out to send a message the message wasn’t too clear. What we can appreciate is that people world over are taking interest in our epics and trying to do it justice by using different approaches and its probably our pre conceived notions of how grand a Mahabharata set is supposed to be that probably is my personal bias preventing me from seeing the movie in the lens it is supposed to be viewed with. I think he stayed too confined in a westernized dramatic paradigm to appeal to those audiences; it lacks being a representation of the “unknown orient”.

STATE OF ARCHITECTURE

I never knew that the State of Architecture could be something that could ever interest me, but walking to that exhibit I couldn’t help but want to be part of that culture of architecture. I kept having doubts in my head, some seemed silly some relevant. But to me the main and most important thing was that it got me thinking and that’s something only a successful exhibit can do. Get people thinking about something they might not be completely inclined towards. The space was organized beautifully. The ground level telling us about the statistics that helped in the research, the various books organized in a timeline talking about architecture and forming an archive, as well as the wall filled with magazines of architectures past. The books were kept in a glass enclosure organized as a timeline and giving that space that much importance keeping it enclosed. The magazines were a wall print showing the different kinds also through a different kind of timeline. It gave the wall a whole other dimension and forced our eyes towards it. While current architecture magazines remained under with the physical copies free for read. The 2nd level had some of the important public buildings organized through again another timeline we could walk through while some of the walls had highlighted buildings printed onto them giving us a sense of how important so many structures are in India. What also interested me a great deal are the walls and the typography being color coordinated and color blocked per level, it gave the space a welcoming feel to it and made it pleasing to look through. The specially designed furniture added an insane dimension to the space and something we couldn’t keep our eyes off. But what really stole my heart was the top floor. The wall made of paper folded cubes with information on buildings with the mechanism of opening and shutting was extraordinary. It added a somewhat humble yet oddly overpowering layer to this whole exhibit. I wanted to walk through that whole section innumerable times and just absorb that space in its entirety. What was even better was how it used the space it gave that feeling of being sucked into and cramped and it just consumed us completely.

Sri Sri Lanka

JAFFNA FORT, JAFFNA.

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Looking at this piece of art holistically, its honestly so beautifully intriguing. It’s such a simple idea, something so basic as a Map, turned into something with so much history and meaning. The artist has taken maps of Sri Lanka and used that whole space in the artwork to beautify this basic map and make it tell a story of so much more. The colors are so simplistic and complimenting like the turquoise blue and orange along with touches of grey. They all make the white space so comfortable. What’s most interesting to me is the addition of Hanuman, so confident, so behemoth and so bold. He’s striding along painted in colors of green, red, blue and gold looking powerful as ever carrying the mountain on his single palm. His relevance is our immediate remembrance to the mythological tale of the Ramayana and the triumph of good over evil as they call it. The shapes used to convey the map are also extremely interesting to me and the graphics to portray the artwork. The map of the fort lies in the center with the graphics and maps of the surroundings residing over the borders of the painting.

PERFORMANCE ART

PERFORMANCE ART

Performance is a genre in which art is presented “live,” usually by the artist but sometimes with collaborators.

Performance art is highly reliant on on the three foundations, time, space and audience. The absenteeism of any one of the three makes thereby make the performance a failure. The ‘performer’ is the one responsible for this trio. The performance is his, the audience is whom HE invites and the base and time is what he chooses at his convenience.

The performance might be completely prearranged or impulsive. We gather that from the reaction of the audience and the space where it is performed. However the beauty of performance art is that according to me when it is truly successful is when there is an element of spontaneity in the performers act.

Shoot (1971)

Artist: Chris Burden

In many of his early 1970s performance pieces, Burden put himself in danger during a particular performance. This would then put the viewer in a challenging position.

The audience would be caught between a humanitarian instinct to intrude versus the offense of touching and interacting with artworks.

To perform Shoot, Burden stood in front of a wall while one friend shot him in the arm with a .22 long rifle, and another friend documented the event with a camera.

It was performed in front of a small, private audience. One of Burden’s most infamous and powerful performances, it hints upon the idea of martyrdom, and the notion that the artist may play a role in society as a kind of victim.

It might also speak to issues of gun control and this is extremely relevant to the period of time it took place in which is that of the Vietnam War.

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Spaces and Art works

The Scream: Edvard Munch

 

This is a painting that has always fascinated me to a large extent. Its simplicity overwhelms me and I’ve always looked at it in terms of how much it expresses. Being an early expressionist painter, he not only expresses his innermost insanity and anxiety through the expression on the face but the exaggerated brush strokes add a great sense of value. Its almost like the expression wouldn’t express itself if the space around it didn’t add as a catalyst. The equation formed by the expression on the face of the person screaming as well as the brush strokes with bright colors of the surrounding areas are what make it a special equation and bring the painting together. Its almost like one would not survive without the other because the character compliments the space and the space compliments the character to a large extent. The style is so simplistic yet complex. You get every small bit of information through the painting for example the time of day. So much of the space in the painting is the scenery of the merging of land and water whereas such little emphasis is given to the characters at the further back. Being an expression oriented painting its almost comic how the entire space adds to the expression on the characters face. On a deeper level you could say its our surroundings that arouse a reaction in us or the surroundings seem like what we feel, we shape the space around us according to our mood as much as the space around us affects our mood. While an evening out walking by the water might sound relaxing and enjoyable at first, on closer look we see that Munch is really describing a moment of an almost existential personal crisis. In the painting’s background, we can see two people walking away in the other direction, which could probably be society walking away from him, creating the feelings of isolation and “fear”. In the manner of a true Expressionist painter, Munch uses color to express his emotional reactions to his environment (space), commenting on the “red” sky and the “bluish black”, described almost as an all-consuming black hole hell.

By manipulating the space in an artwork the artist gives us a sneak peak into the 3 dimensional world of his even in his flat surfaces we see depth.

 

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Merged Spaces

Times Square and Riley’s mind from Inside Out

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She found herself in the middle of it all.  Drums beat in the distance. The need to figure herself out wanders around with urgency. Emotions loom overhead.   Thoughts buzz with enjoyment.  Days race by skimming their fingertips.  They screech to a halt for potential passengers. The inside of her head is desperately trying to figure out what is going on.  The traffic light turns green.

Its go time. The zig zag left her perplexed.  She dodged in between the streets making her way across to the oasis of sidewalk. What place is this? Horns honk.  The pink train stops. Lights blink; red, blue, green, yellow. The primary of it all.

The colorful space made her feel inside out. Her emotions and memories displayed on every board, blinking and reminding her of her confusion. Thoughts scramble.  She scurries to the other side making it safely.  The light turns red. Now she can think. Surrounded by neon lights, giant billboards, emotions and thoughts, she felt so lost in that brightness, in that big space. This place stole her heart. What topped it all for her was that staircase. Each step changed with her feelings and moods. Where was she? Where is she? The view sure looked good. She felt like she was in the heart of some city but she’d know better if she used her mind. It was all inside of her. Well maybe inside out.

What To Expect After Expecting: Senses Final

We use our five senses everyday. Each playing a more important role than the other. What is most important is to not scatter these senses or go through each of them unconsciously.
Through this assignment we tried to incorporate all five senses into one “Touch and Feel” book. Our idea was to create a book targeting new parents after they have their child. It is a fun book filled with the entire experience. We created the book digitally with vibrant colors and somewhat quirky and fun illustrations to show what to do and what not to do. That fulfilled our sense of sight.
We had incorporated cerelac powder, baby soap, towels, diapers, wet wipes etc and separate sheets on how to try each step. This was aimed at helping the buyer to engage with the senses of smell, touch and taste. We also incorporated a CD along with the book filled with songs for each mood of the baby targeting the sense of sound. Through this we tried successfully incorporating the whole experience through our book.

Sense of Sound: Final Music Video

Unregistered:

The eternal question still lays ringing in all our minds. Are we really safe in the world we live in? I am a girl, I am a boy, I am a human. Each human irrespective of gender, caste, sex, status is left vulnerable when it comes to sexual assault. Our music video is a social statement against sexual assault. The video emphasizes on the fact that any individual can be dangerous and any individual can be in danger.


Go watch it now: