Normal people, that teach magic
one projection HDV, 3m wide
one projection DV-PAL 3:4, 1m wide
one 15" TV
The shown images are videostills and installation views.
Exhibited in Goethe-Institut Bangalore, India, 2010
Thousands of young farmers are coming to Bangalore from northern parts of India (Orissa or Assam),
because of their good reputation as security guards - they are said to be able to just sit'n'watch calmly like nobody else.
I talked to them, but all of us, the interpreter, the individual Guard and me where challenged with four languages;
we talked about invisible dreams and thoughts with words being completely fluid in meaning:
Fragments of their home villages were expressed with fantastic ghost experiences (bhutas) - an extract from archaic
folklore tradition. These experiences were either perceived by themselves or they are reflecting social and psychological
influences within the mainly migra- ted, but still close-knit village community. A fictitious layer in the chaotic urban
landscape, trying to fit into it without losing its inner logic.
I transcribed the interviews. Thus projected, it slowly unfolds intimate words line by line and the images just as
slowly as the text are showing their individual exploration and movement in the narrow spaces they are working in.
Part 1_The Building
A building is in focus. In its middle is a huge hole defining the future centre of a shopping mall. Not yet covered with plastic it is reflecting incoming sounds in every little corner and in every frequency. A character in itself. So, the watchman and the boys are all listening. One is quite and restless, the other one wonders and sets up links. These links are scattered. A just arrived old lady can use her dreams to bring some structure into his thoughts. She comes from his village, that he left in early life.
Part 2_The Entrance
The existence and design of gates in front of apartment blocks is im- portant in the Bangalorean landscape. It is a projected image of the inhabitants and a contrast to the open pavement [outside]. As a listener of one guard, who is telling me something about Dains [witches or Chudails], magical tigers and little fires in a finger, I am just as helpless as someone who can not enter any of these gates. It is re- flecting, glassy, shining steel. The reader [as all outsiders] is constantly searching for a position and a thought, that allows him to understand and imagine the words in a continuous way.
In another context Walter Benjamin once noted that "falling asleep and waking up are the last experiences of thresholds,
that are left to us." That interestingly relates to the idea of transfering an inner atmosphere into a kind of floating shape
in the urban existence, dealing with the cityscape in an indian city, the criss-crossing of social rules in an anonymous
athmosphere and the long night-shifts of the individual guard.
Of course, and that is the difference between Benjamin's and their context, the term threshold is not only refering to something
abstract as it did for a philosopher in Europe at his time. They are spending their days and nights at a very clear spatial and
social frontier, the gates of apartment blocks.
___Documentation video showing three channels in one frame, excerpt 8:43 min, Vimeo