WEEK 03            

WINDOW SHOPPING

ARTIST STREET STORE DOLLS

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

LISTEN TO THIS POEM

00:00 / 01:10

 

DESCRIPTION: Typed English poem - ‘WindoW ShoppinG’-  in black font against a white background.  Transcript and recording is provided to the right of the image.

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

Platforms for falling in love give us a structure to broadcast our identity with the hope that it will resonate with others similar to us. But they do not protect from heartbreak or the uncertainties of attachments. 

 

WEEK 03              

THE ABYSS

ARTIST JEISI AMAWASA

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: There are four images. The first image has a picture of a hand pointing to the screen of a tab. The tab has eyes and at the bottom of the screen the word ‘Swipe’ is written with an arrow on each side of the word pointing in opposite directions. The second image reads ‘For when you gaze long into the abyss’. The third image shows a hand emerging out of the screen of the tab and pointing towards a pair of eyes. The word ‘Swipe’ is written below the pair of eyes with arrows pointing in opposite directions on either side of the word. The fourth image reads ‘The abyss gazes also into you.’ Below this text is a pair of eyes and the words ‘Well, shit’ written in a speech bubble. 

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

Attachments are not necessarily endowed with or predicated on the dense textures of emotions and embodiments but are calculated by the cold objectivity of the gaze.

 

WEEK 03          

HELLO, GOODBYE

ARTIST SHAMS

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

shams3.jpg

 

DESCRIPTION: An A4 size paper printed, with black and white text and illustrations, which was folded into 8 parts to form a zine. The zine is laid open horizontally with 4 parts on top and 4 parts on the bottom.
The first part has the text, ‘hello,goodbye, hope to never see you again’. The second part is a black and white image, the image is not clear. The third part has the text, ‘ There are two doors - right and left -  one to enter through and one to forget. Inside you will find memories galore. Each wrapped in their own lore’. The fourth part has an illustration of 2 doors and 2 cats sitting on either side at the bottom of them. The fifth part has illustrated black chess pieces at the bottom and text on top which is,’ It’s a little dusty, a little cramped,  (i shut shop ages ago, you see)  lots of potential untapped untouched -  some are brown, some grey, some vibrant to this day some rotten and a mistake just lust -’The sixth part has the text, ‘this came from that one boy who tried to grab me.And this from another who loved this one i tried to flee and this one - who is she?these few are cute, this one girl takes my breath away. The seventh and eighth part has text, ‘but mostly its nostalgia packed into this abyss. It’s a shit place, really. there’s no ventilation and the rent is payed in blood but the company’s nice when you get the odd One (out of a 100 but okay - i had a lot of time on my hand ffs)’ and there is an illustration of a candle stand with a candle burning on the right.

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

Quick! There is only a microsecond to fall in love before we are swiped away forever. 

 

WEEK 03             

FILTERS

ARTIST MORTY SMITH

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: This image is a drawing of a torso of a human-like creature with three heads. Each face and eye is looking in different directions - 2 facing to the right and one to the left. Attached to the neck is a semicircle which is made of translucent paper on which the word love is printed in pink font, repeatedly over each other. The creature has a short neck with criss cross patterns drawn over it , below which are its shoulders in a patchwork pattern of black white and blue. The creature has wave-like tentacles erupting on either side. The background of the image is brown.

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

Excerpt from the artist’s note:

“...for me, the face was the major judging factor, the different waves of feelings I was going through. The repetitive patterns show how I found the whole process of going through profiles boring and how there were moments of “hey he is cute but aargh! Boring person”. 

I am puzzled when I think about how each individual acquires a different filtering method. I am not even sure how much control we have over it and why/how we filter the way we filter.”

The cold, impersonal and arbitrary markers through which we select those worthy of forming attachments with us are revealed here.

 

WEEK O4             

A LETTER TO AMU

ARTIST Z

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

LISTEN TO THIS POEM

00:00 / 02:44

 

DESCRIPTION: Contains an image and a poem. The image is of a painting titled - The Maid in the Kitchen, by Anna Ancher, 1883-1886. In the image we see a woman wearing an orange skirt and a black top standing with her back to us. The woman is facing a countertop with utensils on top of it and a window above. She is in a room which looks like a kitchen with the door ajar to the right. Sunlight is seen entering through the window that she faces. The kitchen colours that surround her are brown, light green and beige. The poem is written in black font against a white background and the transcription is provided to the right.

From the artist’s note:

“Dear  Lavender  Hippo,  

This week’s prompts were interesting for me, especially the Vim bar. While I enjoyed playing with Surf because it was familiar, I did not enjoy using the Vim bar. It was so granular, so medicinal green, with little lather, sticky on my fingers, and the fragrance did not evoke anything. It was the opposite experience of the Vim liquid detergent that I regularly use. Also being a Rs.5 bar, I kept judging it as an inferior product.  

It also made me think of our previous house help, Amu, even though she had never been responsible for doing the dishes at our home. It made me wonder if she had used a bar like this. It triggered a memory of her sharing with me that she had to do all the housework at her home as well. I had asked her if her three sons ever helped.  But she justified their lack of help by saying that their tap was outside the home and hence it was embarrassing for them to wash dishes outside. I remember this anger rising within me then, but I kept silent. I know the anger was triggered from my own  experiences of being a woman within the boundaries of marriage and patriarchy.  

I decided to write about this memory and feeling through an epistle/epistolary poem  – which is a poem in the form of a letter. I have never tried this form before, but it seemed ideal to me. It helped me focus on someone else’s story, while indirectly expressing mine. The epistle also feels very intimate and personal because it is addressed directly to someone (as compared to an anonymous reader), which I thought would work for this content.

warm regards, 
Z”

 

LISTEN TO THIS LETTER

00:00 / 02:08

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

The structural and occupational locations of people affect the ways in which we form and remember the attachments that our lives have had with theirs. 

 

WEEK 05            

I CHOOSE A GREEN BACKGROUND

ARTIST Z

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The video shows a person walking and then dancing around a garden. At times, we catch glimpses of the sky. At any point, we only see the person’s hands and legs and not any other part of the person’s body or their face. 

Excerpt from the artist’s note:

“The prompt has taken me back to my childhood when our maid at home used to wash utensils/clothes with her hands. It reminded me of her hands and the way she used to sit in a squat position while washing. It also took me back to a couple of years when I was conscious of my materialistic consumption when sustainable living was my priority. The video has all these elements. I chose a green background because while doing the activity I felt connected to the part of me that respects the earth.”

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

An everyday object like a soap can trigger a range of memories about the attachments we have had throughout our lives and the connections among them that might not always be particularly explicit.

 

WEEK 07             

PURE CHANCE

ARTIST MISFIT MEDUSA

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The video shows a small cup of water into which a person is diluting paints of different colours using a paintbrush. Finally, the entire coloured water is thrown into a toilet bowl  and we hear the sound of the toilet flush

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

As much as we might wish to celebrate them, attachments are not impervious to the passage of time and to surveillance society, they are no more than transient moments of joy that serve no deeper material purpose. 

 

WEEK 07             

CHOICES OR DARK MAROON

ARTIST  MORTY SMITH

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image shows a spider web made of thread. There is a thick maroon circle of wool, and green and red thread to form a web in between and a pearl in the centre. 

 

Excerpt from the artist’s note:

“Dear Gulla,

My parents were divorced probably when I was 6 years old. My father chose to leave. Me and my sister lived with my mom and our grandparents. 

Throughout the process I realized how annoyed I am with bureaucracy. I carry my father’s last name even though I do not have any relationship with him. It is a pain in the ass to get it changed. His last name is his ancestral village he comes from. As far as I am concerned I do not relate to him or his family in any way. 

For some reason, I have always felt shy to use his last name as mine. I always hesitate to reveal it. I always wished for a different name. 

My response to the prompt shows the characteristics of my last name and constellation refers to how it goes back in time. The dark maroon colour represents my resistance and shyness.

PS forgive me for the bad writing”

 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image is a list of names written in caps: Aishwariya Chadaluri, Niom Samson, Karthik Palepu, Monish Lakkoju, Karishma Manwan, Simran Chug, Nikita Solanki, Diya Naidu, Sarigama Yerra, Sanjay Baradwaj, Mayank Rangupta, Harsh Gupta

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

What is considered to be a very fundamental marker of attachment which positions us in a chain of belonging can be a source of angst and erasure of the attachments that really matter to us. 

 

WEEK 08            

MEAT THEM

ARTIST  LAVENDER  HIPPO

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image is of a plastic tiffin box with pictures of various items stuck on it. There is a banana leaf with rice, rotis, lentils, curries and meat on it. Around the leaf are pictures of a packet of Parle G biscuits, a packet of bidis, a McDowell’s sticker and a box of sweets. 

 

Excerpt from the artist’s note:

“Dear Morty Smith,


This week’s prompt gave me a ritualistic feel. The detailed warm-up/instruction reminded me of this festival that we celebrate called “Hirayar Habba” which is a festival where we honour our ancestors. This festival is celebrated by most Kannada-speaking Hindu households. We don’t come up in the caste ladder, in fact we are right at the end of it. So there is a lot of meat and spices involved. We give our ancestors whatever they loved when they were alive and this can be anything from meat, alcohol, bidis to Parle G. 

We arrange everything and do the puja. While doing the puja, we make sure that we fill the room with smoke and leave the room. The door must not be completely closed but must not be open either – this is to give the ancestors enough privacy to eat the offerings in peace and leave.

Lavender Hippo”

 

 

LISTEN TO THIS LETTER

00:00 / 02:57

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

The heuristics of venerating ancestors are sometimes encoded in the personalization of rituals. 

 

WEEK 08          

A SET OF STORIES SHARED

ARTIST JEISI AMAWASA

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image shows a uterus with flowers growing out of it. The image is at the bottom of the letter, which has been transcribed above. 

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

The juxtaposition of a remembered object and a forbidden organ suggests a fluid continuity between a personalized attachment and one that is a fundamental cultural symbol of attachment.

 

WEEK 09         

"I" OF COLOURS AND LINES

ARTIST MORTY SMITH

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image comprises multiple colours (blue, pink, green, purple) blending into each other and what look like black jellyfish with black tentacles reaching into the collage of colours. 

From the artist’s note:

“Dear Gulla, I want to say that I feel very uncomfortable with my identity. I always had difficulty in liking myself. When I say identity I mean all aspects that make me into who I am. There is always a longing for a “better me”. I feel angry/helpless/overwhelmed when I look at myself in the mirror for a long time. I have been consciously unlearning all the toxic conditioning of constant negative talk but there is a long way to go. Lot of times I feel that the things I hold on to as my identity doesn’t matter at all. I find it obscure. 

In the artistic response I expressed my thoughts and feelings around my “I”dentity through colours and lines.”

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

 

The structural and occupational locations of people affect the ways in which we form and remember the attachments that our lives have had with theirs. 

WEEK 09         

CARDS OF BELONGING

ARTIST  GULLA

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: There is an image of the eye with a QR code across it and pieces of the QR code are disintegrating to reveal the eye. 

Excerpt from the artist's note:

“Dear partner, 

The use of identity cards to get through registration purposes has begun to scare me. Originally, I think they were meant to provide for us a sense of belonging. But I can’t help but feel in danger every time someone asks to link my Aadhar card, my passport, my driving license. I don’t know what they might do with that data…
Gulla,
11.11. 21

P.S. sending you two responses together cuz I couldn’t send the last week’s”

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

All the bonds that we hold most dear are mere layers of data points, disembodied, detached and free of all affective ties in the eyes of regimes of surveillance including and beyond the state. 

 

WEEK 07             

BOOKMARK

ARTIST GULLA

ARTISTIC RESPONSE 

 

DESCRIPTION: The image is of a bare tree with a number of names written all over it. These are the names: David Valentine Heathcote, Leon Victor-, John Watts, Marcellin Julian Haria, Naqiyah Hasan Unjhawala, Yukta Kuldeep Sharma, Sakina Tahef Vadnagarwala, Sharzad Firouzjahan Pighi, Lokhandwala to Lohani with a smiley face next to it

 

DESCRIPTION: A bluish green watercolour wash on a handmade paper with an Arabic writing in green which reads as "Tasneem". A brown rope is attached to the paper.

Excerpt from the artist’s note: 

“Dear Z
This prompt made me think of my grandfather. Forty years ago, he did one of his cool things. He decided to change our surname to something ‘cooler’. Yes, he didn’t think his surname was cool. So he decided to change it to something cooler.”

SEE-SAW REFLECTIONS

If names can be changed, then their prerogative to guide the bonds we form in our life needs to be interrogated.