Returning to Earth – A kinder search for home,
Bronze, sealant, granite, wood, water and mirror,
Commissioned by Samdani Art Foundation and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art
Murari Jha stages a seen, felt and absorbed landscape that we carry within us. It is equally an invitation to approach the space around us with an intuitive, symbolic ecological, linguistic and psychological understanding. For the artist, landscape and the idea of return are a performative and exploratory form. He developed this work while reflecting on the desperate return of the millions of migrant laborers who started their against-all-odds homeward journeys even at the cost of their lives during the first covid lockdown in India. Thus, a return to earth is a kinder search and knowing of home. Jha prompts us to insert our bodies into his scattered arrangement, and replenish the memory of the landscape of one's growing up; our relationships with the sun, moon mountains, earth, trees, water and animals. Inviting and accumulating observations stories, personal and social associations with each element, colloquial phraseology and idioms for describing a landscape – chanda mama (moon as uncle), billi massi (cat as aunty), samay ka pahad ban jana (an insurmountable sense of time as a huge mountain to cross), zameen ka jamm jaana (sedimentation of soil) – Jha invites DAS visitors to interact, play, touch, speak, experience and construct a landscape and return it to him through our expressions, drawings, and writings on a slate he provides within the installation. Jha works in a range of mediums, including performance, sculpture and painting. His work opens up aspects of the personal as political, the performativity of objects/body and the psychological processing of everyday occurrences and environments.
समय पहाड हो गया हैl 'Samay Pahad Ho Gaya Hein’
Size -268x129x100 inch
A memory of time.
The live art at Dutch Warehouse was curated by HH Artspace in collaboration with the Kochi Biennale Foundation.
The performance was held from early morning until night daily in the space alongside the performative sculpture and labour action. Repetitive sounds of anklet bells and body movements, coupled with the slow progression of intense physical presence, shaped the mountain. The mountain that formed maps the 'holding time' of the memory of the past. This structure is derived from a metaphor Jha's mother used to say, a north Indian phrase – 'Samay Pahad Ho Gaya Hein' – which means 'Time has become a mountain' to talk about the absurdity of time.
This mountain also allows the spectator and observer to become performers, where they can sing, talk, and experience the texture, warmth, and smell of the space where Murari takes you back in time. Jha's performance focuses on the relation between the body, time, and structure within the purview of the performance."
A Magician Whistle
Duration 1 Hour
@Nvya Art Gallery, New Delhi