Works

  1. © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya 2010.

    This series of stop-motion animations features the National 35 camera, which is made to roam through the desolate spaces of the factory, as if the camera returns as a ghost to haunt the very factory that produced it. The film plays on the irony that a factory which produced cameras becomes the most photogenic of spaces.

    # vimeo.com/106699427 Uploaded
  2. © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya 2010.

    Composed of hundreds of still photographs shot and edited with precise calculations, this series animates the huge, deep spaces of the factory by manually switching the existing light fixtures in the buildings on or off. The idea of old fluorescent lights flickering for a while before lighting up, and electrical circuitry going berserk are simulated to conjure up the ghostly presence of the people who once worked there.

    # vimeo.com/106699042 Uploaded
  3. © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya 2010.

    The still image is conventionally perceived as incapable of recording motion in relation to time, and this series is an experiment to capture motion and changes in time through the still camera as also the effects of the elements on objects. Composed of hundreds of still photographs shot in sequence, the motion thus generated is stylized and not entirely realistic in nature, almost harking back to the tick-tock rhythms of early silent cinema.

    # vimeo.com/106698132 Uploaded
  4. © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya 2010.

    The still image is conventionally perceived as incapable of recording motion in relation to time, and this series is an experiment to capture motion and changes in time through the still camera as also the effects of the elements on objects. Composed of hundreds of still photographs shot in sequence, the motion thus generated is stylized and not entirely realistic in nature, almost harking back to the tick-tock rhythms of early silent cinema.

    # vimeo.com/106698382 Uploaded
  5. © Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya 2014.

    Shot in 2009, the film is a portrait of Karthik Pal, the last employee of the once peopled Accounts Department of the National Instruments Ltd factory in Kolkata. Mr Pal was entrusted with the absurd, Sisyphean task of completing the pending paperwork of the defunct company relating to the arrears, pensions and other retirement benefits of the former employees. Declared a sick industry in the early 1990s, the company had stopped all production and gradually dissolved its workforce through layoffs or by compelling workers to opt for voluntary retirement schemes, accumulating in the process, a mammoth pile of documents on which hung the uncertain future of the erstwhile workers’ pending claims and benefits. After the departure of his colleagues, Mr Pal sat alone in the cavernous Accounts Section for months, lost in the sea of files, trying to bring a sense of closure to the ostensibly interminable paper trail.

    Seeming more like still images at first, it gradually becomes evident to the viewer that the film unfolds in extreme slow motion. The use of slow motion alludes to the bureaucratic inertia the Nehruvian-era Public Sector Enterprises fell into (National Instruments Ltd being one among the many factories in the area sharing the same fate) and the slow grind of inevitable, replayed histories.

    The film is also connected to and extends our earlier work Post Datum (2009), a photographic typology of 12 images displayed in a grid that focuses on piles of old files and dusty, decaying paper.

    # vimeo.com/106664049 Uploaded

Works

Madhuban Mitra

This channel hosts an ongoing cycle of video works by Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya, that explore India's only still camera factory - the now defunct National Instruments Ltd. in Calcutta. These works are part of and extend their long-term photographic…


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This channel hosts an ongoing cycle of video works by Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya, that explore India's only still camera factory - the now defunct National Instruments Ltd. in Calcutta. These works are part of and extend their long-term photographic project around the same subject, and have been shown in several exhibitions in India and abroad. Mitra and Bhattacharya are visual artists based in Calcutta, India who work together across a range of media including photography, video, animation and text. Their moving-image work often takes the form of gallery-based installations. To view more of their work , please visit http://www.photoink.net

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