MAN WITH COCKEREL 2001 - 2002

A bald man with a placid, Buddha-like face, clutching and letting go then clutching and letting go a plumed fowl (Man with Cockerel, 2001): this rhythmically repeated, soft-gray image offers a tantalizing grasp of desire, an allegory on dispossession. Kaleka’s subject-matter is representational and yet, by the form and brevity of its videoed avatar, by a trick of durational fallacy, by sheer transience, it erases its signified meaning. The imaged body – at the brink of dissolution and disappearance – reads like an index of mortality. Its quotidian identity is subordinated to a fragile sense of being where no assertion, no action is necessary except that which trusts in a minimal continuum of survival. The language of representation enters the liminal zone and the encounter, sanguine, serene, evanescent, resembles a haiku where the hypothesis offered about a lived life needs no backing of proof.

excerpt from 'Inside the Black Box: images Caught in a Beam' a talk given by Geeta Kapur on video and light-based installations at School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi on 10th November 2005. Part of a lecture series by Geeta Kapur, Visiting Professorial Fellow at the School in 2005.

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