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Deveron Projects

The Town Is The Venue
Why don't we have a gallery? Why don't we have a gallery?

Umesh Maddanahalli

From Here to There

2003

And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal,
there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour...
And the seven angels which had the seven
trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
Narrator at the beginning of The Seventh Seal
Are rural places mostly populated by older generations?

Umesh is a performance artist from India and also a cook, pool player and Bollywood actor who joined us for three months in 2003.

Are rural towns comprised of an 'ageing community'?

With young people leaving Huntly each year to find work and education elsewhere, particularly in the cities, are rural areas like this becoming mostly populated by older generations? And what kind of place does this make Huntly? It may not be a problem in the sense that these places are a good/bad place to live, but this issue will certainly have an effect upon the development of social culture and also the atmosphere within the town with regards to life and death.

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Umesh's project derived some influence from the Ingmar Bergman classic film, The Seventh Seal, in which a journeying knight passes through plague infested towns and duels with Death over a game of chess. His quest is one of a search for God and the meaning of life. The knight's close proximity with death and the passing of time inspires this kind of contemplation and shapes his journey to come (he becomes more enthralled in this game and its negotiations than he does with living the rest of his life). The idea of travel and linear narrative (time) is represented in Umesh's final performance, Here and There, through the use of lasers and sound. The performance ended with the sound of a screaming train, conjuring up the image of movement and a continuous journey. This was preceded by audience participation in which they represented characters from various generations and aspects of life and death. As a result the intersecting layers all converged to reveal a dense narrative about the journey from birth to death and all the points in between.

     

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