IN SEARCH OF VANISHED BLOOD, INDIA

Region/Concept: South Asia, Violence
Sub-Concepts: Pain, Catastrophe, Partition, Mutilation, Supplication
Description: Indian artist Nalini Malani creates video assemblages projected onto spinning Mylar cylinders casting shadows on walls.

Theory: Tails, claws, racing limbs, wagging fingers—pulsing, flickering, slow revolution, spinning, cutting, differential speeds. Fingerprints float past, unfathomable maps of a sensual cosmos out of reach, suffocatingly so. Overcome by the splitting of land, women’s bodies an incision point—again, yet again, we learn only at the end, far past the end, that there are no people here; always “the people are missing.” Revolutions of translucencies, hollow bodies of light, what silent supplication arises from the vapor of vanished blood? May the wrathful deities yet protect passage through realms of defeat and separation. Organs riven apart, what remains to follow the voice of Faiz Ahmed Faiz—“This blood which has disappeared without leaving a trace/isn’t part of written history: who will guide me to it?”—but empty, endless, phantom longing. Cassandra does not speak, merely spins, in painful compassion…or could it be an enormous, billowing rage?

Link: http://www.galerielelong.com/exhibition_works/1892
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uK9iRoPds8

Posted by: Una Chung

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MICRO-TWITCHINGS, CHINA

Region/Concept: East Asia, Space
Sub-Concepts: Mapping, Urbanization, Dislocation, Geoscape, Ancient, Phantom
Description: Chinese artist Yang Yongliang creates industrial dystopias in shan shui landscapes.

Theory: Stitching innumerable series of electric pylons and half-built/half-demolished high-rises, for the eye yearns to see graceful contours of a mountainous landscape. The wrecking force of a developmental power that only knows creating, building, making, raising, multiplying—a menacing positivity threatening the natural environment with its own relentlessly reproductive nature. The micro-twitchings of an eye compiling. Algorithms thriving on indeterminacy. Computational landscapes fecund with affect. Natural perception nothing more than primal projection of reality—“there are only relinkages subject to the cut”—Taoism’s pure perception sees through contrast and past juxtaposition to pierce the emptiness of what is—“instead of cuts subject to the linkage.”

Link: https://medium.com/vantage/visions-of-a-future-that-draw-on-the-past-b9d36e02a7e7

Posted by: Una Chung

Dystopia