Directions helped me see through different approaches in drawing. I am begining with a simple question, am i drawing and if so, how? In one such situation I am being recorded, someone else has been instructed to record me as i run almost 200 meters. In this case I have chosen this place as it is a liminal space for me.
I think you come across something which tells you that this may not be the direction for your practice. A video shoot is done and it becomes a dead archive in the computer hard disk. There is something which you do come to know while running or anything if there is a mark being made. What is this method of mark making, of doing something and not instructing the other? Was i suppose to hold the camera and make some one run? Which end do i take up? Do i run or record someone running. Where is the mark being made like how i make a mark while drawing? I don’t have anything on my paper when i begin, it is blank. what is blankness? It is empty? What is emptiness? When i am recording, i see so much of the landscape that i don’t know how or what to record. Should i point my camera to the sky?
When i was recording, there were people asking me, a herd of animals coming in my frame, they were unwanted. So i waited for the herd to pass, so that the camera could record me. But on paper i do not wait for any herd to pass through. I can be there for as long as i want. I can watch the blank, empty, white or some tone of white which i am so used to seeing for so many years. Does this mean i could spend time with another coloured sheet of paper? Should i spend time with a metal sheet, a white or any other coloured / textured wall? Should i spend time with illuminated surface of the wall from the light of the projector falling on it? Should i stare or keep watching the river and would it become a surface for me? Do i do the same with a landscape, a scene or protest, a page of a book, a graph / grid paper. Should i watch / see myself in the mirror, on the camera? Is it all about seeing?
forty kilometres away from my home i saw this liminal space one day. That day it felt that i should come back and do something at this place, to do a project, to do something site specific. What was this space? Why are they usually construction sites? This space was on the outskirts of Delhi, a place in gurgaon which is getting constructed. So it will be ready for habitation but in process. Is this a space where a natural landscape which holds it own mysterious value is being changed by construction of homes, offices, gardens, labour, and natural material which is converted to walls, partions, roof, flooring. I have decided i will do something here. What does that mean, doing something?
The long stretch when i visit a month later, the same road which comes to an end is no longer inspiring? What does this mean? how do i get inspired a place the second time or everytime. It is not the acid free paper bought by me which i will draw upon using my tools of the mind, sometimes imagination and sometimes my sense of humor. But there is no paper here. There is an idea….that this is a road and i will run on it and someone will hold a mobile phone and watch me run out of the frame and run from far like a dot in the begining and run into the frame, enlarging in perspective as i near the phone or run away from the phone like a line getting shorter as time passes. What was the point of this exercise, i dont even know. All i know is that i work best watching my sketchbook and thinking how easy it is to draw in it and fill the page with a thought.
But in this landscape which is on its own moving with too many things, what do i do by recording myself doing something? If i dont record myself, do i now record something happening in the scene, like a bus passing by or a dog passing by or a still building which can not run, where do i point? if i point up it is the sky and if i point down i am staring at the groud i stand on? What is the point of making a video? And i come with a basic plan that i will run and i should be recorded and i will go back to my place, dump the video in the computer and see it and get inspired and do something. This is a faulty plan and there is no drawing in this?And does drawing need to be there at all times? or can i find drawing in everything which is inherent to the act?
What if i had sat and draw here? Drawing from the mind is a differnt process that moving the camera, or in this running in the work. I am physically running in the work but on paper I do not run. I dont put a roll of paper 200 meters long and start running on it to become the work. On paper i experence a different space which is not there or was not there standing on the road and watching the scene in motion. How do you transfer a liminal experience of a place? Do you watch for that something which is or holds your attention? something zomed in?
As it was getting darker we decided to leave. During the run i felt stupid, i felt i was running and experiencing tiredness, i was experincing a physical moment of starting off as a jog and then keepng a pace till feeling i am really far away from the camera. I experienced a sense of distance. And I turned around and waited for the cars to pass by and i started to run in the middle of the road to place myself in the corner of the frame of the camer being held on the other side. Was i performing? Was i to vanish out of the frame? What if the camera ran and i just stood there. I would not feel a thing but only this that the camera is away from me at a distance.
Also it was difficult to watch the video on my computer because it was boring. the act, the video is boring. What is boring and why does art or that artwork not happen everytime or it just doesnt happen for a very long time even though I am doing something all the time? Was i to interview the villagers and ask them how their life is to make the work interesting? Was i to run through them? Was i making a running line on the video or was it that i didnt know what i was doing? That i would shoot a video and something would happen later? Do things happen later? Like a bad drawing gone to the framer and then something happens? I don’t think so.