Strange Encounters

Video Retracing El Alamein 2018 
In collaboration with Lele Huang and monologue of Michael Lewis

The exhibition  involves various video works that both use a night-club as a performative site. Constructed environments become psychological spaces where social interaction takes place.  Within the work Friday by Helen Anna Flanagan, the nightclub represents a hallucinatory place of the night — an internal and intoxicating space where language deteriorates and where there is a temporary demand for togetherness and forms of collectivity.
--> In the video of Sarojini Lewis, the artist sits silently in the setting of a nightclub in Edinburgh whilst a group of friends chatter around her, this relates to her ongoing practice in understanding identity and isolation and the temporality of certain constructed settings. Helen Anna Flanagan has constructed a new sculptural work made of a video projection and screen printed glass that depicts the movement of a fly on a body and the images of potatoes that are connected with British labour class. This installation is juxtaposed with Sarojini Lewis work Retracing El Alamein. The video work Sarojini involves exploration of ancestral migratory routes of her grandfather G.S. Lewis, researching his traces and his career as a British soldier who fought on the front line in Egypt. Besides this one can read the monologue of her father M.B.C. Lewis that recounts of several historic events. Having this history in mind she retraces his footsteps and the specific Battle of Rommel. Retracing is done together with Lele Huang who on the basis of her father's dairy about his father, who fought in North Korea reimagines and embodies this experience by her performance and re-enactment of symbolic plastic soldiers in the war memorial museum in El Alamein War Museum. In conversation together, we would like to expand upon the idea of a constructed space and combine the video works in the environment of Slash Gallery and Worm in Rotterdam.

Wah pahuchne ki dasha -  That state of arrival

An Exhibition in response to Kahe Gaile Bidesia Gallery,
GB Pant Institute of Social Sciences, Allahabad

A reflecion on the question, Kahe Gaile Bides? forms the essence of this exhibition that mirrors the Bidesia gallery of the GBPSSI by responding and abstracting certain objects and archival photographs in its collection. The unstable ocean surface leads to a migration story constituted between a place of deport and a place of arrival. In between the fast movement of oceans a timeles exchange of cultures connects various geographical locations. The ocean takes its own course or time to do so. Waves and circular movements of the sea become a mirror through which our visions transforms, distorts and reshapes. On the Indian shore a bottle was found that once belonged to a migrant who travelled to Surinam. Someone said that it was trown in the sea, the sea brought back the bottle through the movements and its currents. It contained a cutlass to cut sugarcane, an old sari of a lonely woman, Khadau (footwear), a letter of a missing girl, photographs of an old family house in Bihar, a flying saw, a black cloth with a hole made by a surgical blade, a parrot that repeated the words from the letter of the missing migrant. The bottle resambled a surrealist shape, a transition of gathri once taken by a migrant during a three month boat journey.
This response is dedicated to a specific history of migration: the stories and journeys of the diaspora Bhojpuri community, and its focus on indentured labour migration to Surinam (1873 - 1917). The Bidesiya gallery part of Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya Museum is an exciting instance in museology history of India because of its focus on the labour migration in the colonial period while also giving the perspective from the women and families who were left behind in the villages, and the complex history of several generations of Bhojpuri diaspora connecting from Bihar to Surinam to Netherlands and vice versa. The gallery was developed through a collaborative research between three institutions: GB Pant Social Science Institute in Allahabad, India, the KIT Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the Research Institute of the Anton de Kom University of Surinam (IMWO) in Paramaribo, Surinam.
Visualising a collective response that accesses, constitutes and interprets psychonanalytical readings of archives that reshapes the nature of knowledge. New relationships and meetings between people of multiple backgrounds was commonplace on the boat journeys that took place more than 100 years ago. This exhibition of contemporary art will be hosted in the foyer gallery of Manav Vikas Sangrahalaya and mirrors relationships and response of 8 artists from different backgrounds working collectively to produce new currents and potentions of reading the permanent collection of the Bidesiya Gallery and the history of indentured labour migration.

Artists that conceptualised the exhibition; Preeti Singh, Akansha Rastogi, Paribartana Mohanty, Sudheer Rajbar, Birender Yadav, Naresh Kumar, Ranjeeta Kumari.
Curated by Sarojini Lewis.

In Collaboration with Clark House.
Opening Speech by Sunil Gupta director of Allahabad Museum
Project initiated by Badri Narayan director of the GBPSSI

Allahabad Museum / That State of Arrival 

GB Pant Social Science Institute Allahabad
That State of Arrival

Waves that came from Ternate

  The waves that came from Ternate