JANUARY 4 - FEBRUARY4 2007 , Khoj . International Artists Association
My attempt was to have people engage with the river of Delhi- the Yamuna, and also to come to terms and analyze through the visual my own relationship with the river and hence the city.
The residency started with a picnic to which people were invited at the river bank. As no one in Delhi actually picnics at the river,
it was a device to try and get people to engage with the river. People were expecting some kind of a performance but when told that this was only a picnic were at first disappointed but then enjoyed the refreshments and the river.
The residency also ended with a site visit where I was involved in a site specific work. This time as well we had arranged for refreshments and a boat ride which most people enjoyed.
The site chosen has been the site for my earlier perfomative works done over the past two years.
Between the two site visits which happened to be at one of the most picturesque spots on the river I attempted to further my engagement with the river by walking the length of the river i.e. 22kms that it passes through Delhi.
I walked from Palla village, the northern spot where the river enters Delhi for it sluggish run to Okhla Barrage, where it enters the neighboring state of Uttar Pradesh.
It took me four days of walking around six hours a day.
The attempt was to walk along the water, to engage with the river as it flows through Delhi. The pictures and the text document my attempts and where I was forced to take the road or a boat, and where the city totally forgets the river.
The open day at KHOJ involved setting up an installation of the documentation [pictures] of the walk, through the pictures taken by me with some text for each day.
The installations, simulating my walk, led the viewer through the four days of my journey walking next to the river starting from the gate, as you entered the Khoj building, taking you along the corridors to the last room on the floor above, ending at the door of the toilet on the first floor.
The toilet had a live feed video focusing on the overflowing toilet pot and on the door projected on the wall outside. People could see themselves reacting to the work as they came out of the toilet [ no water was wasted as number of pumps were used to recycle the water].