A Soaring to Nowhere
Hanji paper & rice paper
Sudipta's engagement with historical images comes through several quarters. In the recent past, the fascination was towards a reconstructed history where fragmentation played an important role. The processes of alternation of real narratives paved way to individual tales. The perceptual framework through which we accept history is important. It is an ever changing process which multiplies the scope of transformation. The images that we identify as important archival document often lose its importance in certain public spaces. Ignorance towards several national histories allows one to alter reality into myth.
In Sudipta's recent body of works, the artist consciously erases portions of history. For an average Indian identifying every national hero is problematic. Thus each encounter with such archival image leaves behind several unresolved mysteries. There were contents and contexts which seldom appear to be undisclosed and unrecorded. The artist chose to address history in a scattered manner. Rather than breaking the image over one single surface, Sudipta creates the image with multiple surfaces. Each piece of torn paper plays a vital role in the reconstruction of the archival image. Firstly she attempts to paint several different photographs on separate pieces of paper. Once they are completed the artist tears them in a random manner, shuffling them in the process, so that it becomes impossible to identify/ rearrange the narratives again. Now each piece of paper carries forward a certain part of history and when placed to the next piece, it evolves into a new narrative. These arranged torn pieces of paper also strip the archival value from the images. They no more confirm to one single event in our national history. The physical act of tearing can be read as a gesture to negate established narratives from the past.
Sudipta Das was born in Assam in 1985. She completed her BFA and MFA in painting from Kala Bhavan, Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
Courtesy of Roy Thomas, Sudipta Das