Tejal Shah – Between The Waves – dOCUMANTA 13

Tejal Shah participates in dOCUMENTA (13) with her new multi-channel video installation, Between the Waves. The work is composed of performative film, text, animation and the spacialisation of sound.

From 9 Jun 2012 – 16 Sep 2012 at Index #161, 1st floor, Southern Wing, Hauptbahnhof, Kassel

For more informations: http://tejalshah.in/home/

Artist’s statement:

The earliest known symbolic representations of a single horned animal – Unicorn – have been excavated from the Indus Valley Civilization’s archeological site of Dholavira in Kutch, Western India (5000 – 2000 BC). Whether this designates a real or mythical animal remains unknown, just as the pictographic language of the civilization remains undeciphered. Such seals and tablets appear as chapter markers in the circular fable Between the Waves. In popular imagination, Unicorns belong to Western mythology but through this performative video installation, the artist brings them back to their supposed original home, a region to which Shah also traces her family lineage.

As has been Shah’s methodology, she compacts multiple layers of references here. For instance, while her Unicorns are eternally mutating humanimals, they build upon Rebecca Horn’s Einhorn (presented at Documenta V, 1972). Horn herself references Frida Khalo’s painting The Broken Column (1944) as her point of departure.

This palimpsestic approach engages a specific art historical discourse and wedges open a unique position that encompasses the queer, non-binary, eco-sexual, inter-special, technological, spiritual and scientific, while it poetically surpasses them all to present it’s own unbounded, awkward, in/appropriated organism in the form of this installation.The two video channels that parenthesize the installation, move between hi-tech and low-tech. One uses simplicity of materials to animate while the other is a rip-off of an iPHONE Morse code app! The Morse code signal (already decoded since the English characters appear simultaneously) is framed within the outline of a Rosetta stone alluding to translation, communication and decipherability. “All clues lie within, decoding them is a matter of our own cognitive or imaginative limits.”The title of the work arises from an accidental misreading of a list of books written by Virginia Woolf, …Between the Acts, The Waves… “It stuck because of how waves function in science and mysticism and that defining them results in a fuzzy border-line and is always contingent upon their physical origin for each specific instance of a wave process. i.e. each wave needs it’s own context.”
Gitanjali Dang, Bombay-based writer and curator on Between the Waves:
Between the Waves is no vast sanctuary of shimmering waters and its ensuing crests andtroughs. It intimates a quake. The quietness of the title belies the velocity of the Lovewaves that ripples across the surface of the landscapes contained by this work.

In seismology, a Love wave occurs when the universe goes through a massive internaleye roll. It is the intention of this work to capture the after effects and images of this eyeroll. Like any good surface wave, the Love wave spreads along the interface betweendifferent media. In relation to Tejal Shah’s multi-channel video installation, the wavetransmits across media such as deserts, collage, mangroves, sound, salt pans, video,animation, landfills.

The Love wave composes a desolate landscape. When this wave of upheaval holds up tocatch its breath, we witness a sequence of stranded and/or anchored moments.


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