Bandeep Singh: The Beast of the Warp


Bandeep Singh

The Beast of the Warp

Archival Digital Prints on Photo Rag Paper

4 works of 24 x 36” /  61 x 91 cms each

2020

Edition of 5 + 2 APs


Artist Statement: “The Lockdown of the summer of 2020 exposed the deep breach in our social edifice. The visuals of the unending rows of migrant workers walking to their villages on foot were like a saw on the conscience of those who watched them helplessly through digital windows of their sequestered lives.  Social divide was no more an idea or a concept … it was  experienced live: 24X7…

As this was playing out, in early June,  I had to travel out of town on an assignment . The vehicle that came for me had something unprecedented: a plastic sheet dividing the front and the rear areas.  It felt that I was entering a demarcated social and class compartment: a fragmentation of the egalitarian space of the vehicle. It was a promise of safety behind a transparent barrier which kept me away from the driver…

As the car hit the highway,  the bright landscape outside the window began reflecting on the plastic sheet inside the car: converging kaleidoscopically on the loose folds.  Drawn to this changing movement of light, I  looked closely… On the uneven surface of the plastic sheet , the reflection was  warping in the form of an animal shape: a large snouted beast: somewhat like a rhino with sharp teeth. I began shooting it… it was playful at first,  as it warped everything passing by the windows into the beast form… but soon I began seeing it as something else: a metaphor…

The invisible threat in the air, coalescing into a beast that has entered in our lives; or a mirroring of our animal instinct to survive at any cost…. It was also the carnivore of want and hunger that was pushing us out to work in the middle of the pandemic; or is it the gargoyle of conceit, cleaving our humanity? 

Whatever it is, It is still out there.”

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