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Re-imagining home

Anandakrishnan SK
Others 101 X 72 Inches Contemporary
This installation appropriates the tangible structure of the part of a home as a venue for dialogue with the viewers. There are various intangible dimensions such as, love, care, hate, oppression, hegemony, power, social norms etc. plays with in this architectural space. This multidimensional nature of the image of home prompted me to consider it as an image that can possibly be extrapolated to the idea of homeland through the artistic process. Since home and homeland are both a product of collective actions and imagination, the installation was also conceived as a site where this collective actions and interactions are possible. In an ever-changing universe the idea of fixed meaning or image sounds irrational and the unproductive consequences it showers on the human beings is problematic. Therefore, in the making of the installation titled ‘Re-imagining the home’ I pause the making of the artifact at a certain point and allow the viewers to interact with the artifact, which in turn shaped the form and content of the installation and eventually brought about narratives which were not presupposed. Here the image of home was not conceived as an image with fixed or essential traits of meaning or value instead, the installation itself was an open site where many events could possibly happen. Therefore, the form and meaning of the art object as well as the home/homeland shifted with every new interaction. The floods of Kerala in August 2018 has been a major impetus behind the shift in my thinking on home and homeland which in turn resulted in the making of this interactive installation. Being an artist who hails from Kerala I felt the necessity of shifting my lines of thinking about the idea of home and homeland on to a new frame work in the wake of the catastrophic flood. I draw from a particular moment during the floods in Kerala, that one person’s home become everybody’s and the sense of togetherness and the gesture of sharing replace the notion of ‘self’ for a while. This installation juxtaposes this moment and the painful image of houses after the flood and tries to transform the home (art installation in this context) as a site for regaining the gesture of giving and sharing. This work took its visual and conceptual shape in the form of the cross section of an interior of a house made of baked mud bricks, where one could trace the catastrophic flood of Kerala in 2018 and the collective rebuilding of a home affected by such natural disasters. The bricks have niches on them and the viewers were asked to put any objects or write something about home and place inside the niches. The bricks with objects contributed by the viewers were distributed among people at the end of installation process. This makes the installation as an event in the memory of the people and the distributed bricks with objects or texts remain as a tangible memory of some anonymous person’s thought or emotion. The tangible fragments of the work will be scattered among diverse people who takes it.
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