EUQINOMprojects is pleased to present two videos by talented Indian artist and Magnum nominee, Sohrab Hura in the Media Space at Minnesota Street Projects. The screenings on view bring together two projects: “Sweet Life and The Lost Head & The Bird”, which demonstrate the artist’s interest in still and moving imagery as well as sound.
In his artistic endeavours, Hura seeks to explore his ever-changing relationship with the world and to challenge the construct of the photographic medium. To achieve this, he states “I need to engage as much with questions arising out of my immediate surroundings as with issues concerning the larger world outside. It is this back and forth – between the idea of the individual self and the larger world in which the individual exists, that forms a strong base upon which I build my practice.”
“In Sweet Life”, a composite of two bodies of work: “Life Is Elsewhere and Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!!”, Hura focuses on intimate family life, particularly the relationship to his mother who was diagnosed with acute Paranoid Schizophrenia. What began as a way to escape his family situation turned into a method of confronting the realities at home. “Sweet Life” opens a window into the artist’s life, his family, his love, his friends, his travels, his need to experience the beauty and precariousness of existence, and then circles back towards home and the relationship between him, his mother and her dog Elsa. Photographed over a period of ten years, it is a search for meaning and closure with the artist questioning and discovering the banalities of everyday life at home.
“The Lost Head & The Bird” explores the artist’s response to the current socio-political climate in India today. It takes the audience on a journey to hidden aspects of Indian society – to life on the fringes. A disorientating and absurd world, where the boundaries between fact and fiction blur, and the undercurrents of caste, sexual, religious, and political violence lurk beneath the surface, erupting in ever more frequent outbursts. Born out of an ongoing four year photographic project titled “The Coast”, which saw Hura traveling up and down the subcontinent documenting “the wonderful and vicious things that happen along the Indian coastline,””The Lost Head & The Bird” explores a frighteningly fast-changing, post-truth world where actions are fuelled by appeals to emotion and facts are increasingly ignored.
At the core of Hura’s practice resides the photographic image, but as these videos demonstrate he is not limited by it. His work today encompasses text, moving image, and sound. He created the score for the first half of Sweet Life by turning the light exposure readings of the scanned photographs into equivalent sound frequencies, each at particular chords and octaves. With repetition, a sound rhythm arises and starts to feel like music. The soundscape for the second half of the video, as well as the music for “The Lost Head & The Bird” are the result of a collaboration with,: Hannes d’Hoine and Sjoerd Bruil, two Belgian musicians Hura met through Bending The Frame, an Antwerp based art organization founded by Wendy Marijnissen. The results are two immersive, multi-platform experiences that invite the audience to explore an intimate personal space, while at the same time experiencing an accelerating and chaotic crescendo of images and sounds of life in contemporary India.
Sohrab Hura was born in Chinsurah, a small town in West Bengal, India. Today he lives and works in New Delhi. In 2014 he was nominated for Magnum Photos. His video work was exhibited at the 11th Shanghai Biennale (2016) and curated by Iona Fergusson for the experimental photographic festival Peckham 24, a fringe event to PhotoLondon (2017). In 2015, he self-published the now sold out photobook Life is Elsewhere under the imprint UGLY DOG and in the autumn of 2017 will self publish his second “Look It’s Getting Sunny Outside!!!” He is represented by Experimenter, a Kolkata-based gallery where he will have his first solo show in September. “Sweet Life” will also be exhibited in October 2017 as part of Illuminating India: Photography 1857-2017 at the Media Space Gallery, Science Museum, London.
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