Chorus II, 2015-19

Installation view, Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai

Chorus II
Lacquered MS, speakers, 4 mins 36 secs single channel audio
97 x 31 x 26 in. l 247 x 79 x 66 cm.

Chorus II is from a series of sound sculptures by the artist modeled on pre-radar devices used in the Second World War to pick up sounds of enemy aircrafts. Called acoustic mirrors, such devices in many shapes and sizes were used by armies on both sides of the conflict as early warning systems. In an act of radical yet playful subversion, the artist has replaced the sounds of war machines with bird songs. Singing in unison are the national birds of border-sharing nations that are either openly hostile or share turbulent histories, such as the Chukar (Pakistan) singing with the Golden Eagle (Afghanistan), the Peacock (India) with the Doyel (Bangladesh), or the Giant Ibis (Cambodia) with the Siamese Fireback (Thailand). Though appropriated as national symbols by one or the other nation, these bird species inhabit both territories, being citizens only of a particular terrain and climate that no country can claim ownership to. According to the artist, “the interlaced chorus of freely drifting birds in Chorus alludes to nature’s defiance of artificially imposed, man-made divisions”.

reference sketch