本届印度参展艺术家印德尔·萨利姆的《疫情期间来自我露台上的旗帜》（Flag series from my terrace during COVID-19 Pandemic）系列作品，表达了在印度疫情封控期间，艺术家对于“自我”和“存在”的思考，并通过“旗帜”这一表现形式串联起“本体”与“世界”的时空关系。
Born in 1958, Kashmir, Inder Salim presently lives in Delhi. As a performance artist and poet, he has performed in India, Europe, Japan, and China for the past 25 years. He participated in the performance festival 2008 by Khoj (India), created Harkat series of Performance Art at Sarai basement in 2011, and attended “Theory Opera” of the 11th Shanghai Biennale as well as the London SACRED: Homelands Festival in 2016. He is working presently on two books, Ghazal Numa (book of images) and a book of poems about Kashmir and other places.
The idea to make a flag on a daily basis during the Pandemic was an idea to fly and be on the ground and to feel connected to the world during complete lockdown during 2019. Facebook and Instagram helped me to disseminate the images and video clips of the flags. The fabric material was actually the residual waste on the terrace from my earlier performances, which was handy. It was almost like a daily ritual to get a flag done in the morning and then watch the wind playing with it.
I call it HARKAT, a term that attempts to alternate the term Performance Art. Not unlike Performance art, Harkat too intends to localize the nuance and context of doing an act. The “verb-to-be” is the essence of an act to become the part of that density of “thisness” which otherwise eludes us at logical levels. In a nutshell, a simultaneity of participation of every sense and non-sense makes a Harkat.
At a molecular level, the lockdown time was a time when the routine got disrupted unpredictably but provided a unique opportunity to invent the act to transcend. Every “line of flight” arrives and departs with a newness of time. The new aesthetic of mind learns to accept the state of imperfection and humbles to get rid of heavy history and memory of the past. To listen to the music of the earth, it was important during the Pandemic that we dance profoundly within the folds of body….
疫情期间来自我露台上的旗帜系列 Flag series from my terrace during COVID-19 Pandemic
印德尔·萨利姆 Inder Salim
展于第四届杭州纤维艺术三年展 Exhibited at the 4th Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art
Would you mind telling us how you first got to know and finally participate in the 2022 Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art?
Chief Curator Liu Tian, I remember his brilliant lecture at Max Muller Bhawan in New Delhi few years back, and then we were in touch, even after I participated in his “Theory Opera–Shanghai Biennale 2016”. Liu Tian certainly zeroed in on my “Pandemic Flag series” after I responded to the concept note of ”Being Theoria“.
What artworks did you bring to 2022 Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art? I’d be grateful if you could introduce your artworks in this exhibition.
Pandemic Flag Series is about my response to the Lockdown crises during 2020. It is only now that I see the entire activity as a response to the sudden shutdown of usual flow of routine in Delhi. That time it was a strange time, and I made a flag for each day. It was almost like a daily ritual to get a flag done in the morning and then watch the wind playing with it.
Where did your inspiration come from when you were creating these artworks?
On an open terrace, I have my little attic-studio on the top floor flat of a four-story building in Delhi. Within few days of lockdown, I yearned to talk, and social media was the only window available. In the open rain and sun on my terrace, primarily due to lack of space in my flat and my little studio, I had literally dumped nearly 1,000-meter black and white fabric from another performance. I found an idle metallic rod from my neighbour’s terrace which I used to unfurl flags made from the waste. There was some little acrylic house-paint in the house which I used readily. And once I was done with the tattered fabric, I looked around to find other ordinary fabric from waste and the market which helped me to extend the making of flags after the lockdown even.
Could you tell us about the messages and ideas you try to convey to the audience through these artworks?
If we think at a global level, what is that which we have in surplus: what else but the WASTE? And to contemplate our actual living on earth along with the surplus of the Waste, it looks very natural to imagine some sort of intimacy to fill the time’s flow with some immediate purpose of being. Besides this, during some Covid-like crises, a human being, perhaps, always enabled herself/himself to find a new tool to express, and the Flag idea in that sense is not new medium to engage the people around, but it helped me to vent my inner thoughts. Deleuze sees a “Flag” in every artwork, something that announces the artist’s actual presence.
The theme of this exhibition is “Being Theoria”. Can I ask how are your artworks related to the theme?
“Art synthesizes all philosophies”, I love to quote Deleuze. Perhaps, the term “Being” without a suffix or prefix would be lost in the realms of meaningless abstractions. On the ancient shoulders of “Theoria”, the “Being” developed some wings for a lift to discover a unique “line of flight”. Text-as-material on the fragile waste, here fabric, and the wind during a particular moment of time entitled me for a dialogue with the Time. Now a togetherness of all the Flags in a single space is like an epic dance of all the whispers and desires to communicate with the audiences. This is absolutely stunning for me, since I feel a second synthesisation of my flags for a big embrace…
Any difficulties, interesting or unforgettable things happened when you were creating these artworks? It would be great if you share with us.
Yes, I experienced a big fall from the terrace during this daily ritual of unfurling the flag. It was very dramatic that I found myself hung between the gaps of the terrace and the ladder on the wall, which otherwise might have resulted into a fatal injury or death even. Another one I remember, my neighbours noticed this daily happening of flags on my terrace and complained when they saw something that looked like a special symbol.
What is the significance of this exhibition to you? Does it have any influence on your future creation? If so, in what ways?
Ah! what a delight to be a participant in a mega show like this. I congratulate myself and the entire team in particular dear Liu Tian who has a vision indeed. How I wish to be there to see all, but again this Covid restriction paralyzed the actual coming and experiencing of the space loaded with an amazing range of experiments in concepts.
In the context of the global crisis of COVID-19, how did your art and ideas respond to the pandemic?
As an artist/performance artist, this “Flag Series” helped me to understand the Lockdown uniquely. I might have read a book or so or even watched films on the Internet, which I did but the central activity during the Pandemic was me and my solitude, that vital time-connection with the OUT-THERE in my own humble way.
采 编 丨刘天成 任 越 徐皓钰
翻 译 丨刘天成
编 辑 丨刘天成
审 核 丨刘 杨 胡心云 刘 畑