New Delhi, Sep 19 (IANS) The opening scene of “Mangoes” shows two Pakistani expatriates and Indian women relishing mangoes together, recollecting their childhood memories. However, the scene suddenly turns ugly as they start comparing the range of mangoes, a comment which reflects the heightened sense of nostalgia and nationalism that exists among the Indian and Pakistani diaspora.
This 1999 video installation by prominent Pakistani artist Bani Abidi is part of the ongoing exhibition “Enactments and each passing day” at the Kiran Nadar Museum dedicated to video works.
The exhibition at the Noida studio showcases important works of 15 contemporary artists from different generations. There are single-channel, multiple channel videos, video sculptures and large video installations of artists like Ranbir Kaleka, Bani Abidi, Vivan Sundaram, Shakuntala Kulkarni, and Sonia Khurana among others.
Curated by Roobina Karode and Akansha Rastogi, the exhibition offers a journey to the unknown and imagined terrains that are speckled and marked with discreet and abstract presences.
“The collection has a substantial representation of cutting edge artists and video artwork that are historically important and mark the trajectory. It is our effort to bring attention and popularity to this medium of video art in the larger public domain,” said Kiran Nadar.
Abidi’s another video “Anthem” addresses the role of music in the promotion of patriotic sentiments. It shows a split-screen image of two young women (played by the artist) dancing to popular Indian and Pakistani songs. While each of them increase volume to outdo the other, the video ends in a cacophony.
Through his short, looped video “Ten Differences”, another well-known Pakistani artist, Rashid Rana talks about the Kashmir conflict in his 2004 work.
While the “Life of a double” by Pratul Dash is a rebellion against the neo-liberal shining India, the artist has captured the emotions through a series of performances on the video.
“I went back to my native village and performed at the very edge of Hirakud Dam, which I know from my childhood. In this, I use a strong white string from my sacred thread to literally string up my face. The act of being reined in the conditioning of the self comes back along with understanding of the scaffolding of the construction sites,” said Dash.
“Here the string becomes the scaffolding, constructively guiding me into emancipation and hope,” he added.
While artist Sheba Chhachhi’s “The Water Diviner”, is about the loss and possible recovery of our cultural memory, Archana Hande’s “The Golden Feral Trail” charts the historical relationship between South Asia and Western Australia.
From Vivan Sundaram’s bed of detritus from the fabled city of Muzir is, the viewer is taken to a strange forgotten abandoned outpost of the second World War off the UK coast, marked by huge metallic structures in Rohini Devasher’s video.
The exhibition “Enactments and each passing day” is on at KNMA, Sector 126, Noida till December 8.