RANBIR SINGH KALEKA House of Opaque Water

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> Ranbir Singh Kaleka (ind)

House of Opaque Water 
Installation view
10:34 loop
HD video in 3-screen panels, 149.6 x 213.4 cm.
Exhibited at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Supported by Volte Gallery.The sole protagonist of Kaleka’s video installation, Lalmohan says, “This is my home” whilst travelling with the artist-filmmaker in a boat where they are surrounded by water on all sides. He points to the surface of the water about 6 meters away from him. His house and his village were swallowed up by the water amongst the vanishing mangrove forests of the Sundarban delta in India. The viewer sees nothing except the swirling waters around the boat. He later draws on the mud surface of the river banks the places that characterize the village that he knows by memory, a small village, tehri, that along with forty other local villages was completely submerged when a local dam burst. The migration and rehabilitation process has divided families and destroyed community bonds. Kaleka narrates this story- not in the style of a documentary, but rather as a poetic visual investigation. The layering of images recreates loss and displacement through iconic and oneiric memory. The three screens of the projection are used to slice through panoramas and wide water-scapes that are cut off in their motion of unfolding. The house, the notion of shelter and the interruption of our space of habitation and intimate being, is what the artist is exploring here. This encounter between Lalmohan and Kaleka suggests a rite of healing that he is inviting Lalmohan to experience after the trauma.