#, NEW DELHI, INDIA, 2017

# was a text work shown in the group show G/rove, curated by Bhavna Kakar and Adwait Singh at Latitude 28, New Delhi, in February 2017

#

If land is a contentious, conflicted, inherently political geographical entity, then versus that, landscape is a romanticized, ‘beautiful’ feature that assumes a certain aesthetic appeal, even when such aesthetics are informed by the burdens of history and its consequences. Landscapes evoke the romantic, in the way they are described, in the way people ‘feel’ in the presence of dramatic landforms and in remembered nostalgia where their ‘beauty’ is necessarily exaggerated. Land, on the other hand, is more an agent of economy, status and ownership (or lack thereof), where its beauteous sheen become less important than cold practical concerns.

The tensions that arise from the conflicts, apprehensions and politics between land and landscape, and the manners in which the landscape is pressurized by various agencies to retain its ‘beauty’ encapsulates our thought process here.

The work takes the form of text which, while sounding almost excessively poetic and romantic, alludes to the political and presents an idea that almost juxtaposes the romantic notions referred to in the sentence. These texts are printed as vinyl stickers and stuck on the gallery wall, running close to the ceiling and not at eye level. This positioning is important because when the viewers have to raise their heads to read the text, the words again become distant, unattainable – almost like relating to or connecting with land for most people.

The hashtagged words, seemingly innocuous, point out to the uninhibited use of this internet device by some people, in the hope of bumping up the relevance and popularity of a certain word. While hashtags can be a powerful tool in spreading awareness, the uncontrolled use of it serves no purpose. By hashtagging common nouns, we mull over what is really relevant in the present digital environment. The words which are hashtagged in the text follow the poetic phrases, hinting at word-play and the many derivations and interpretations of the word when read keeping in mind the various tensions that a landscape is subjected to.

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#, NEW DELHI, INDIA, 2017

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