Photography is a postindustrial art form with a strong humanistic paradigm of practice where the artist fixes a moment at a particular instant & immortalize memory. But one that is immortalized loses life at that very moment, as life is the most precious possession of the mortals. An Alive Art Project (Initiated through BK Hygroscope, a project supported by KHOJ in 2014 under the program Negotiating Roots) aims to unfix them and bring back life into them. The artist's method is weathering the photographs. By unfixing a photograph the aim is to dissolve the artist’s ego of his being into becoming, and weathering becomes a performative process. As the effect of weathering makes it transform every moment till a point when the image of the photograph ceases to exist, leaving behind absence of the image filled with the memories of the weatherings. And the intermediates of the journey of the weathered photographs are preserved as digital footprints.
Man and a Ruin: The original photograph was taken by my photographer friend Yuvraj Dhir in 2005, showing a scene from my diploma film from SRFTI, Tetris (2006) as a production still. In the next shot of the film the protagonists encounter a decomposing body. The eeriness of the scene was intriguing when I looked at the photograph later on; a feeling difficult to put in words, and very personal. Many years later, in 2014 I decided to weather this particular photograph almost instinctively as I came across a narrative in Mussoorie. It is about a British prison camp in disguise of a brewery, and the myth goes that the native people were tortured to death by the Britishers there to extract certain fluid out of their brains! I visited the ruin. It was uncanny to imagine a narrative like that there, as it could just perfectly fit there. I couldn't gauge how architecture can transmit so much fear. I decided to bury this particular photograph there letting it inside the earth for a pretty long time for soil weathering. Hoping the spirits of the space converse with the eeriness of the narrative of the photograph. A digital footprint of the inexplicable. This footprint have limited edition of 12 digital photographic prints.