thotseat : rohini devasher
3 december 2017
Deep Time, image credit Anil Rane, courtesy of Bhau Daji Lad Museum
S: What about your experience of India as a place or setting inspires your work and how much does it affect it?
RD: I would say it definitely does - much more now. Particularly since so much of the work is about travelling and having experiences with groups of people.
I have done work which was shot in other places but travelling a lot in India is also an affect. It’s so much a part of me in a way - maybe when you look at the work you don’t see it but I know it is there. I feel like if I was anywhere else, I don’t know if the work would be the same.
Sometimes the readings and the stuff that I do seem very removed from India as a place but on the other hand all the conversations that I have with the people that do see the work and it’s process - a lot of that is happening here.
S: What is your experience of the work of Non-Resident Indian artists? How does it resonate, if at all?
RD: The problem is unless one gets to actually see the work actively it ends up being stuff you see other people posting on Facebook… which is a very weird place.
S: What do you feel we as a community of South Asian artists need to discuss more critically?
RD: I think there is more criticality around the practice itself in the UK. I feel that sometimes what happens here [in India] is that there is not enough conversation around practice.
Currently, so many artists are working in very different ways. I don’t think if you looked at the field 10 years ago you would have seen this much diversion and variation. People are doing their own thing because they feel like they can, but I think it’s important sometimes to just take stock and find a way to bring some of those conversations and those people together.
These conversations happen in small bits. It’s really interesting to see the trajectories being explored individually and together but I think maybe you can’t always leave that up to a critic or a curator because actually they will have a particular point of view.
Facebook isn’t the place to have a conversation because it’s completely passive.
Let’s think about why we do what we do, not as a form of defence but rather as a way of articulation.