'Edge of Desire'

Show curated by Chaitanya Sambhrani

Visual Scavenger

- Ravikumar Kashi

As an artist I see myself as a witness to my times. I am as much a witness to my times as to the ways it is being re-presented in the media. I am also a witness to the visual culture around me.

I have the habit of collecting interesting photos, image clippings, discarded objects, headlines, quotations and the like. I suppose one can think of me as a visual scavenger. This becomes a bank/source of imagery when I start working.

In my work, not a single image has been either drawn or painted directly; as if to say I refuse to see first hand. Everything comes filtered through a secondary source resulting in the construction of a secondary reality. Something curious happens in this filtration process. Media projects objects, people and experiences with a certain ‘tinge’. This ‘tinge’ is carried over to my work because of my scavenging.

I also have a diary, where I keep jotting down ideas with visuals and text, which becomes a starting point and triggers my work. From that stage it takes off and grows organically

The format/experience of my work is akin to watching a TV. Think of a wall of televisions in a store, each tuned to a different channel. Hundreds of images are all talking at the same time, in a hyper-textual visual narrative. The connections do not seem forced, so much as nearly random.

While scanning through the channels we come across various images, incidents, but by habit we watch each channel in isolation: advertisement image for a tooth gel as separate from the image of terrorist killings, which one saw a moment ago in a news/ documentary channel. When this flow is seen as a continuous stream of images, associations and the contradictions that arise are mind-blowing. Fiction, news, documentary and reality - all get mixed up. The violence, blood and gore one saw a moment ago in a Hollywood action movie start shifting over to news channel when you watch daily news. Many of the villains in movies are so well dressed that they could be modeling for clothes. In between, ad guys entice you to spend, consume and be happy; there is nothing wrong with this world, after all!

Each day I rummage through these images from out side world.