Mandali: India and the World | Sajeev Visweswaran
Tue, 09/08/2020 - 3:04pm
When: September 8, 2020
Sajeev Visweswaran discusses his work and the affect of Covid-19 from his studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I want my images to recollect or reflect the things that people might erase from their minds. There is, therefore, always a sense of discomfort that drives my work. I am interested in things that are hidden, and in distorting everyday scenes to introduce elements that reference social instability. I try to highlight those things which disrupt the everyday and the domestic. This can range from the very smallest things – the absence of a relative or the things people eat – to oppression and political violence.
In my recent work, I have been focusing on the tension between the individual and society. In India, my home country, there is a tendency for society to erase the individual. Social rules are often very strict and the consequences for breaking them are severe. This is why I like to focus many of my images on people. It is important for me that my images capture the character of each individual. This can be an image of a famous person, an activist or the victim of state violence, as portrayed in my work “Fragmented Memories,” but it can also be the images of people unknown to me, who are captured in news reports, as in my works “Pellet Injuries” and “Resistance.” It is important to me that each figure reflects the real individual, and that they are not lost in the crowd.
I use medium to exaggerate and emphasize these tensions. I have recently become interested in linocuts, because of the long associate of relief printmaking with poster making. For me, the fact of editions in printmaking emphasizes the social. I manipulate these images, both of people and of nature, to impose social problems on them. Even in a very domestic, rural landscape such as “Pineapple Landscape” I work sharp elements and tools into the image, which remind me of farmers and their struggles. On the other hand, I also produce single, one off images in my “Fragmented Memories” series. This series, which uses small boxes I have collected from flea markets, draws on my concern with things that are thrown away and forgotten. The images contained in these boxes are there for preservation, but also because they represent things that are fragile and fleeting.
September 8, 2020
Copyright: Creative Commons (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike)
Rights Held by: Ann Arbor District Library