I participated in a month long online art residency by the Belgrade Art Studio, centred around the theme ‘artist on standby’.
Context – There was a natural disaster last year in the area we currently reside (Kumaon, Uttarakhand). We were battered by torrential rains that lasted for 48 hours. By the end of it we had no power and water for a week. And no internet for a few hours. There were landslides every 100 metres on the road that connects us to the outer world. We were effectively cut off. Since then I have often come across household items (mugs, bottles, cups, oil cans) along the path behind our house. Objects that got displaced because of the rains. Objects that were situated in their environment till a violent external force changed that status quo.
I felt a certain familiarity with this story. 17 years of my life had seen no change while I was living in Delhi. But then covid changed that. It brought a rude shock to my environment. My art before that moment was almost non-existent but 2020 saw me work on three projects as a response to the lockdowns. The status quo was changed, just like that.
So when the world around me changed substantially, under an extreme external force, I was forced to change too, just like those objects under the onslaught of rains.