It is Philipp Geist’s second time in Pune. The multi-media artist first came in 2016 during Diwali to light up the Shaniwarwada fort, Pune’s historic landmark, through video-mapping.
Geist is back to enchant Puneites with his latest project ‘Riverine Zones’, an abstract video projection that has been shot over years. The project will be showcased on October 11 and 12 at Goethe-Institut, Max Mueller Bhavan.
‘Riverine Zones’ comprises of video footage of rivers around the world shot by Geist through an underwater camera. “I have always been curious to know what lies beneath the surface of water. This project started in 2006. Through long cables attached to the camera, I would film standing on river banks or bridges.
I have shot footage in various countries like Italy, Iran, India, Germany, Bangladesh, Brazil among many others,” he explains.
The artist has collected footage of over 30 rivers in different countries. It will be projected on five different screens. Each screen will have a different projection on it. “I’ve shot the footage and compiled it in a very abstract manner. I’ve shot different parts of the river like the fish and the plants till the bottom. At one point, the camera is in the water and keeps floating up and down so you can see buildings surrounding the river. It resembles a sinking city. I’ve made it a point to try to connect rivers in different countries through the footage.”
On asking him which river had the most appalling conditions from the ones he shot, Geist quickly responded that it was Pune’s very own, Mula-Mutha. “It was very sad to that river. For the first time, I had to shoot with gloves.
I did not see any fish in it either. The most beautiful river I saw was in Chicago. There were skyscrapers surrounding it. In Tehran, there was no water in the river that I filmed. It was entirely dried up but maybe it depends upon the season. My goal is that all the visitors who come to see the installation should think about pollution and the environment. But at the same time, this isn’t a documentary, it’s an art project.”
He further adds that while filming, he came across several odd items buried in the river. “I saw a bicycle once and I also saw a champagne bottle. While watching the videos, people are surprised that there is life underwater. So many of them don’t know of the fish under. There are times when you see many garbage and waste materials inside as well.”
Geist will also present another video installation on trees on October 12 at the same venue. The exhibition of ‘Riverine Zones’ will continue till October 31.
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