I Travel Therefore I am (Ongoing)
I Travel Therefore I am is a visual study of the vicious cycle of aspiration-consumption-validation.
The work analyses the influence of visual media on popular culture in tourism. It is an inquiry into how constant exposure to images of tourist destinations on popular information platforms fuels our aspirations to create similar visual content that one may validate the vacation and become participants of the trend. In a pool of infinite simulacrum of popular destinations, how do these aspirations interact with commodified realities of a tourist destination?
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Is your land silent?
Since humans have established for themselves, a rather distinct and superior place in the ecosystem, its interaction with nature has evolved manifold. The idea of a shared co-existence seems unreasonable to the human kind as it continues to mark its dominance over everything. The project looks at an unmonitored interaction between the humans and non-human animals, where both, giving in to their ‘animal’ instincts experience a threat from each other. The artist encounters a life of helplessness; every day fed by the fear of what might crush the moment’s unsettling balance in the silence of the night. It is about living together at the edge of a National Park.
The book is an exploration of game hunting through a wider historical lens, and attempt to read the politics of power and gender in a newer light, using photographs from an older time. The photographs in the book belong to the archive of Maharaj of Panna, Madhya Pradesh in India and look at the transformation of a landscape from a hunting ground to a national park.
When I couldn’t look them in the eye
‘When I couldn’t look them in the eye’, is a photographic project which explores the constant game of the GAZE and the SPECTACLE between caged animals and visitors in a zoo. Zoos in all parts of the world function as institutions of entertainment, and awareness channels of the animals. They are popular amongst children who enjoy coming to the zoo to ‘look’ at their favourite animals. Under the umbrella of knowledge and conservation, is it right to keep animals in constructed cages? Isn’t it exercising human domination over animals? The project looks at the way we look at animals in the zoo which are presented as objects of pleasurable nature. We, as humans, run around different enclosures to spot animals, we make sounds at them, tease them and showcase our power of control over them through a zoo.
Coming across various zoo accidents where people had made suicide attempts by jumping into a cage, were drunk and fell, made bets with friends pn contesting with animals have made me think about our unapologetic outlook towards the species locked up for our enjoyment. During these ‘accidents’, the animals were almost always shot down by the zookeepers to save the humans who, in most cases were themselves responsible for the act. The gaze to which these animals are subjected in a zoo is intrusive and voyeuristic; We are in constant greed for more visuals and information from the menageries.
The project looks at people looking at animals and their interaction with them in a zoo. The desire to get closer to animals, to see more of them causes more restrain for the animals. The project has been photographed in India, Germany and Czech Republic and finds people’s behaviour similar in all the three countries.