…and Silence Lit - Chittrovanu Mazumdar


Magic of displacement.  of the new.  how does a work survive its own context, take life in another, a different geography.  transformation.. the anguish of a work exposed to the gaze of the other.  across a minefield of impossibilities, the hope of realizing it, making it happen. 

To surprise a work with the word.  yearning across the unbridgeable gap of another language.  to give it a reality, a life beyond its own transience.  the word inexact, to delineate a precise work, which is in turn open to inexactitude. 

Pale, moonlight on cement dust.  vast dark sky.  Desert landscape.  Industrial landscape.  Rows of sheds, alike.  Metal maw of the truck that lifts and dumps, lifts and dumps, steady, undeterred, labouring through the night.  Huge generator shuddering the silence.  Primal/mechanical.  This is not an art zone.  This is a space with another history. 

It became, it transformed.  with the light of the first hour.  and then plundered silence. 

Enter as in a dream . . .

The box hangs free in space.  Each is one of many.  Giving light, they contain light.  White walls become red.  The floor burns red.  The body, flesh, rotting fruits, decomposition, earth, dust, nothing.  Word of milk word of blood.  The blind box . . . Turning to see just blind black boxes.  Then, partly hidden, quietly lit, sudden, gross, pregnant, the movement begins, gyrating, anklet bells swelling, shivering, violent, climaxing.  Only to begin again, violating the silence.  Again.  And blood light.  Extreme vision.  To float in red fluid. 

Pink painted cups share the night and its shadow in silence, lit.  half drowned in thick ooze of oil, the words.  Racked speakers spew, whisper, made and formed sounds. 

Freezing.  Corpse-cold.  Tube, wire, feeding energy into the icicle lamps - penetrate the body, pierce, exit.  Soundtrack of harsh, laboured, breathing.  The struggle to breathe. 

Demarcating zones for each work.  to house the separate ideas.  Fragments connected by surprise.  The space liquid. 

Black wall strewn with tiny windows of memory.  Gold etched copper lit with lamps.  Purple indigo velvet mouths speak - it was blood, it was what you shed, lord.  A red robe.  Like votive objects in graveyards, ceramic flowers on graves.  landscapes you cannot enter.  The red room.  The black room.  A prayer which gets added to many prayers.  To hear the noise in reverse.  Noise pierced with silence. 

The question of light.  In and of itself.  It illuminates the work and is also the work.  Degrees of light.  Notes in music.  Ushering in darkness.  Building the dark to be able to see the light. 

Point of entry and departure.  Bright room of paintings.  Four canvases.  Four directions.  Gold.  White with black.  Black with white.  Red and black.  no object, no thing, traces of words blurred, erased.  from here to the deep room of the object/image as repository. 

And then, part of the process, stripping it all down and away.  Leaving it the shell it was.  Restoring it to its empty self.  to Leave no trace. 

Chance and accident alongside the obsessive drive towards a vision dreamed.  eyes wide shut.  a plan which yet succumbs to the lure of the total stranger.  the encounter.  and forms a relationship unforeseen.  the hesitation of the moment before the plunge.  the sensuality of the brink.  the not quite knowing.  the moving back and forth from knowing to unknowing and forgetting to the new.  the questioning of the self of memory, of asking where does this fiction begin . . .

And silence, lit.  And light made silent. 


Dubai, Al Quoz,

March – April 2007

Text constructed by Chittrovanu Mazumdar and Anjum Katyal.

…and Silence Lit - Chittrovanu Mazumdar