Jan 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
Screening to be followed by discussion with Sindhu Thirumalaisamy and Lakshmi Padmanabhan
We are back for 2020 and excited to be kicking off with a warm welcome to artist Sindhu Thirumalaisamy! She will present two works on the concept of beautification to open up a conversation around when development may be erasure. Beautification projects, typically understood as processes of civic ‘improvement,’ reflect contested social imaginaries around development. Sindhu Thirumalaisamy will introduce her practice through two films that respond to the tacit connections between beautification, enclosure and erasure – Different Colourful Designs and The Lake and The Lake. She will be joined by Lakshmi Padmanabhan to lead a conversation after the program.
In 2009 the Bangalore municipality hired sign-painters to produce hundreds of murals in a massive public art commission. Familiar symbols of myths, heroes and nature were chosen to beautify the city. Different Colourful Designs (2016) takes a closer look at these images and the city that etches over them.
The Lake and The Lake (2019) dwells in the peripheries of a polluted lake in Bangalore, “India’s Silicon Valley”, where the act of observation is interrupted by flying foam, noxious gases, daydreams, and questions from passers-by. Despite its spectacular toxicity, the lake remains a valuable resource and refuge for counter-publics. Standing alongside fishing communities, migrant waste workers, private security guards, street dogs, and children, it is evident that there is no nature that doesn’t also include all of us. Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, English, and Bangla, are spoken and sung amidst a chorus of non-human sounds.
Kere mattu Kere (The Lake and The Lake)
India/USA, 2019, 38 mins
Different Colourful Designs
15 mins., India, 2016
Sindhu Thirumalaisamy (b. 1990, India) is an artist working across sound, video, text, and installation. Sindhu is a participant of the Whitney Independent Study program in 2019-20. She holds an MFA in visual art from the University of California, San Diego. She has been a participant of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2019, a fellow of the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2018, and a resident of the SOMA Summer program in 2017. Sindhu’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival of Art, Artists’ Television Access, Flux Factory, University of Los Angeles, University of Oslo, University of Manitoba, and Khoj International Artists’ Association.
Lakshmi Padmanabhan is a Junior Reseach Fellow with the Dartmouth Society of Fellows, and faculty in the department of Film and Media Studies. Her research interests are in the fields of experimental film and photography, queer feminisms, and postcolonial studies. Her current book project, The Untimely Image: Cinematic Form and Feminist Historiography, addresses how formal experiments in contemporary video art from South Asia and the diaspora archive minor histories of queer feminist protest. She is a member of the Women & Performance collective, and is editing a special issue of the journal on the theme of “Performing Refusal.” Her academic writing has appeared in Post45, Women & Performance, and New Review of Film and Television Studies, and is forthcoming in the anthology Locations/Dislocations: Transnational and Translocal Feminist Art, 1960-1979. She has contributed catalog essays and curated experimental film with BRIC Arts and SAWCC in New York, NY, Magic Lantern Cinema in Providence, RI and the Center for Contemporary South Asia, at Brown University.
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