Duration: 45 mins
Seen at Secundrabagh, an ‘essay’ made in collaboration with the Raqs Media Collective, is a performance of fifty minutes, staged against an archival image taken in March 1858 by the itinerant war photographer Felice Beato in Lucknow, in the aftermath of the ‘mutiny’ in the army of the East India Company, which eventually led to the consolidation of British imperial rule in India. The performance uses the original photograph taken by Felice Beato and a textual annotation on the photograph by the Raqs Media Collective as a scaffolding upon which it considers capturing a historical event by recreating and reinterpreting the moment of staging or composition.
The photograph is seen both as something that is staged (in the past) and something that is re-told (in the present). The two performers refer to the element and composition of the men in the photograph fluctuating between narrative and experience – they are both, the imagined witness as well as participants to Beato’s act of arrangement.
Co-Produced by: Weiner Festwochen, Vienna 2012, Kunsten FestivaldesArts, Brussels 2011 and Festival D’Automne, Paris 2011.
Performed at Chronus Art Centre, Shanghai, 2013