Online Screening | Friday, April 24, 7 pm
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Sindhu Thirumalaisamy’s 2019 film ಕೆರೆ ಮತ್ತು ಕೆರೆ (The Lake and The Lake) dwells in the peripheries of a polluted lake in Bangalore, “India’s Silicon Valley”, where the act of observation is interrupted by flying foam, noxious gases, daydreams, and questions from passers-by. Despite its spectacular toxicity, the lake remains a valuable resource and refuge for counter-publics. The Lake and The Lake will be preceded by Thirumalaisamy’s short film Different Colourful Designs (2016) on state-sponsored murals in Bangalore. We are excited to host filmmaker Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, who will be present for an introduction and Q&A.
Different Colourful Designs, 15 mins, SD video, 2011–2016
Described as “a beautification exercise”, the Bangalore Beautification Project is a city-sponsored effort to prevent posters and advertisements from being pasted on public walls. In 2009 the Bangalore Bruhat Mahanagra Palike (BBMP) hired sign-painters to produce a number of prescribed murals on public walls across the city. Familiar symbols of myths, heroes and nature—cursory tales of national identity and pride—were chosen to greet Bangalore’s residents and guests. But there are several gaps between instruction and realization in this beautification exercise. The resulting images complicate the official narratives that they try to portray. Fantastical images, fearful images, duplicitous images, and incomplete images all stand together in trying to keep the walls clean. Different Colourful Designs takes a closer look at these images and the city that etches over them. Footage was shot over several years, adding to the film over the years, observing the decay of these murals. It was completed at a time when the BBMP voiced intent to repaint the walls in the spirit of Swachh Bharat.
ಕೆರೆ ಮತ್ತು ಕೆರೆ (The Lake and The Lake)
, 38 mins, HD video, India/USA, 2019
The Lake and The Lake dwells in the peripheries of a polluted lake in Bangalore, “India’s Silicon Valley”, where the act of observation is interrupted by flying foam, noxious gases, daydreams, and questions from passers-by. Despite its spectacular toxicity, the lake remains a valuable resource and refuge for counter-publics. Standing alongside fishing communities, migrant waste workers, private security guards, street dogs, and children, it is evident that there is no nature that doesn’t also include all of us. Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, English, and Bangla, are spoken and sung in the film amidst a chorus of non-human sounds.
Sindhu Thirumalaisamy is an artist working across video, sound, text, and installation. Sindhu holds an MFA in visual art from the University of California, San Diego, is a participant of the Whitney Independent Study program, an almunus of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, and the SOMA Summer program. Sindhu’s work has been exhibited at The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art, Current:LA Public Art Triennial, Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), Artists’ Television Access, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Edinburgh Festival of Art, Flux Factory, Kunsthaus Langenthal, Khoj International Artists’ Association, International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, and Dharamshala International Film Festival.
Image: Sindhu Thirumalaisamy, The Lake and The Lake (2019). Co-presented with PLASMA at the Department of Media Study, SUNY University at Buffalo.