This is a performance piece where I unravel balls of white cotton - grown and spun in India, as well as using Bangladeshi spun yarn - around a series of warping posts that map out lines of geographical borders, partitions, links, and routes of pre partition colonial India. A series of windings that then draw red yarn across sites and boundaries of India, Pakistan, Kashmir and then the creation of Bangladesh through the conflict between West Pakistan and East Pakistan, a later by product of the borders created in 1947. Mapping conflict across these plains with warping a psyche geography. The piece is set in the Whitworth Art garden and is a site specific performance installation. The warping posts are inscribed with collected information in Bengali, news paper clippings documenting unrest, and also poems and written vignettes of memories, and affect of partition related to family trauma.
The accompanying film is of myself during the performance, walking around and around these borders and outlines in the white yarn, a use of my disabled body and the ongoing labours to create the piece. I then begin to slowly add the red yarn to re trace the lines of partition or noted historical areas of violence. It is instead of making a textile cloth out of the yarns themselves, the film and moving image documents the yarn itself becoming the artwork. The warps are later peeled off the pegs, and becomes woven in it's self, tangled and sculptural. It is the labour encapsulated in the collected yarn, that becomes the symbol of energy spent and recycled labour, unwinding, re-warping, re-stepping, retracing lines of actions and cauterisations. This collected entanglement of poems, Bengali writing on the posts enmeshed within the yarn, is pulled through the Art garden, and Whitworth gallery as a cathartic action to gather these political borders and colonial trauma many South Asians carry with them in their bodies through generational memory. The wounds of partition are still felt with religious and ethnic minorities caught on either sides in on going conflicts, still today.
"Warping the borders, fringes; fractured..." 2016