Thursday, January 26, 2017

Ideas for art installations in Kashmir



1. With Love

Put a nail on the white wall. Draw a sketch of a turbaned man around it so that nail forms the tilak. Under the sketch the name is given "Premi". On the nail hang the "welcome" board, just enough to cover the eyes and "back" to cover the mouth.

2. Paradise or Kashmir

An empty room. With a line in white outside the threshold. the board outside the room reads, "Only muslims allowed".

3. Plebiscite

An empty room with empty AK-47 casings engraved with "Allah" and "Bhagwan". Put the one you like in a dice shaped white box whose surface alternatively read "U" and "N". At a given time a screen in the room, randomly shows the result of the voting. The viewers, can anytime take the casings from the box and throw them back on the floor, but they can't again put it back in. That is for the next set of visitors.

4. House

An empty shell of a wooden house half buried under the ground. A cement frame of a house next to it, growing out of it.

5. Pandith

Put a threaded man in a glass casing. The man counts money and sits in front of the idol of a Hindu god. Just let people watch. Project the live happening of the room in the room next to this room that people enter on exiting the previous room. People can watch their own reactions.

6. Doon of Language

Although aazaan sounds with interfere with all sound based installations in Kashmir, still this is sound based woodwork installation. A large egg shaped hall that from outside resembles a walnut, the symbol of brain in kashmiri idioms. The hall has four chambers, in such a way that two rooms, mimicking a walnut, sit on top of each other. People walk through it. In each chamber are playing sounds of a particular language, words taken from poets of these languages. Sanskrit. Persian. Hindustani. Urdu. Outside the shell are lines "Pale hands I loved beside the Shalimar", wrongly attributing them to Agha Shahid Ali.

7. Imagined Past and Imagined Present

Visitors walks into a room, walk along a wall while archival footage of Kashmir is projected onto them. In the chamber, only soundbites of encounters in Kashmir in heard. In a chamber far away to it, viewer chamber, the people can see bits of old Kashmir on these people and the sound played is only traditional Kashmiri soufiyana kalaam.

8. Jammu

A room of tin walls kept at 47 degrees. On the roof is projected snowfall. On the floor, snakes. In a corner, a melting snowman.

9. Rebuild Srinagar

A giant statue of Laxmi next to a painted image of Sridevi. Put a hammer next to it.


I can go on and on. Put a water hyacinth in a glass and call it Dal. Take a pot of sand on a jar and call it Jehlum.

Put a water hyacinth in a glass bottle and call it Dal. Take a pot of sand in a jar and call it Jhelum. Put an empty glass jar, with nothing inside and call it Wular. Take a hammer and call it a statue. Call temple a park. Park cars on the mosques. Replace the wooden cones of the shrines with the cone of the loudspeakers. Take a Kangri and call it Kashmir, ask people to put ash in it. Call it all humanity.

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