Adjourn to vulnerable space
Bamboo & jute thread
This is not the first time I have seen such a landscape; rubber forests are scattered all over this region and not to mention, it is the second-largest producer of ‘white gold’ across India. Every time I come close to such a landscape, the only thing that catches my eye is the cemetery, a man-made ness. The peculiarity of this landscape plunges me into a dilemma that very naturally drives me towards a number of periodic thoughts, such as what might be the next stage of this changing landscape or how the state and nature of this environment will change in the geopolitical context and what will be the position of the peoples here, etc. These thoughts were naturally going on more and more strongly as my current location is in the vicinity of another complex symmetrical man-made fence which we simply call the border. These environmental responses have determined the nature of my work and have served as the basis for this whole process.
From the beginning, I decided that I would start my work process around any existing content in the vicinity. I found a tree (Plumeria alba, which is quite rare this days) in the corner of the yard next to where the rubber forest starts, my primary purpose was to protect the growing plant with an initial fence to save from the predators; ironically rubber plants are as well predators to other plants too(because of the production, time and industrial value rubber plantation is getting more priority then farming or other plants despite of its effects over biodiversity). My aim was to signify the phenomena and the feeling of symmetry, man-made ness and changing landscape by using local materials. So, I started to build the initial fence around the tree with the addition of bamboo twigs, only leaving enough gap so that the tree could grow comfortably for the next few months. I was so obsessed with the whole process that I couldn’t resist myself and at one point I noticed that the structure engulfed the tree within it. As magnetic fluid slowly swallows iron, so does the tree get lost inside the structure, it was no longer easy to notice it from outside. But I was aware of the fact that the tree will grow up and rip this whole structure apart from the ground and since organic and perishable materials have been used in the whole process, due to weather this entire thing will collapse over time. The basic idea of the work changed radically and took on a different form, reason being the surrounding environmental and social effect on my body and mind.
I started my process around an abandoned house as my second project, that hut was once the house of deities, now is a shelter for cows. Broken all around, the soil on the walls has fallen off and is somehow standing in a faded distorted way. The whole thing was very metaphorical to me as if I could find a resemblance to this broken house with the surrounding environment and people's way of life. I also came to know that there are fears among the people about the future of this place, everyone wants to leave this area because there are rumours that the government will remove the settlement from the one-kilometre area of the border. To address this situation, I started building structures with bamboo twigs as is commonly seen in construction work, somewhat to support this fragile house or to repair it again from the idea that the old house will be demolished one day to make a new house. I continued to add twigs one by one and slowly began to cover the broken parts of the house.
However, in both the works my intension was to interact with some of the surrounding things but somewhere amalgamation of thoughts has set up a new dialogue that transcended my primary purpose. I started to develop my process with a basic intersection and engagement which finally led me to the immense transformation of the work and expansion of ideas. I was able to realize the significance of that land the complexity of contexts around that area by working together and interaction with the peoples around which let me adjourn to that vulnerable space.
Last but not least, I would like to mention Sukant Roy (homeowner), Sushil Chakraborty (a skilled worker in the area), Jagadish Sarkar (a neighbouring farmer and a skilled craftsman) and everyone else who has participated in this work and helped me in various ways throughout the process.