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Barricadia curated film programme

Tue 19 September 2017

A film programme exploring imaginary futures and alternative temporalities, curated by Sahej Rahal and Ainslie Roddick.

Forerunner (2013) by Sahej Rahal
Nayi Kheti (New Harvest) (2013) by Pallavi Paul
Narcissicon (2012) by Kiran Subbaiah

Inspired by Tarkovsky's Stalker, Forerunner dovetails Jorge Luis Borges with an imagined account of a Tughlaq-era hunting lodge in Delhi (that, according to some historians, doubled as an observatory), and the story of a sage who mysteriously disappeared from here, giving the site its current name, Pir Ghaib. The hunter, the explorer, and the mystic: these three extreme forms of being have preoccupied Rahal through his practice. Finding the three intertwined in the history and legend of Pir Ghaib, Rahal uses the site as a starting point for a reflection on history, the universe and everything.

In her trilogy of films – Nayi Kheti (New Harvest) 2013, Shabdkosh (A Dictionary), 2013, and Long Hair, Short Ideas, 2014 – Pallavi Paul reassesses the status of the documentary method: in order to speak fearlessly one also needs to hear fearlessly. Her work extricates the political from a language of nostalgia or mourning, to get to the heart of resistance by using historic material as a playful critical interface for the contemporary. Central to the trilogy is the revolutionary poet Vidrohi (the rebel), who began writing from the 1970s as the Naxalite group of far-left radical communists started in West Bengal. The artist uses Vidrohi’s poetry as a kind of laboratory to test the tensile strength of resistance as a material of life. The final film in the trilogy is constructed around Vidrohi’s wife, her relationship to the radical movement of the 1970s in India and her intimate experiences around domesticity, sexuality and labour. We screen the first film in the trilogy as part of this programme.

Kiran Subbaiah trained as a sculptor from Royal College of Art, London and MSU, Baroda. He works in many genres including photography, video, sculpture and installation. Through the act of humour and irony, the artist draws observations on the world. His film, Narcissicon is inseparably entangled from daydreaming, conceived and filmed over a period of 14 years. It is a 43 minute video without a definitive beginning or end.