Installation: rope, pulleys, suspended sacs of water, c-print images 17 x 24 inch
Video still, documented by Syrus Marcus Ware
In Joshua Vettivelu’s Fort/Da! the artist is documented throwing rocks into a body of water, wearing their father’s shirt. This shirt is one that their father would have worn in Sri Lanka when he was approximately Vettivelu’s present age. Vettivelu's practice emerged spontaneously, intuitively, when the artist traveled to various bodies of water.
I was drawn to Vettivelu’s repetitive movements of mixing together these different states: here and there, water and rock, memory and the present moment.
My visit begins with exiting the gallery, and directing the visitor to look at a series of focal distances. The performer runs to a distant point along the street, and re-approaches the visitor armed with a series of pixels. Extracted from the far, mid and foreground of Vettivelu’s original image, the pixels have been enlarged and printed, the performer a carrier of these grounds.
The performer then invites the visitor to re-enter the gallery and to lie down under a pulley sculpture. The point of view of looking upwards, two transparent sacs are suspended, one containing rocks and the other water. The sac of rocks is gently lowered as the sac of water rises. The sac of rocks is eased onto the belly of the visitor, and after some time, is slowly lifted off.