Concrete Memories of Serous
A river is a natural watercourse and its energetic flow tells about its lively character. One cannot imagine a river without its flow, its life lies in its flow, if it is not flowing means its dead. Rivers have been used as a source of water, for food, for transport, as a defensive measure, as a source of hydropower to drive machinery, for bathing, and as a means of disposing of waste.
Rivers have been used for navigation for thousands of years. The earliest evidence of navigation is found in the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed in northwestern Pakistan around 3300 BC. Riverine navigation is still used extensively on most major rivers of the world like the Amazon, the Ganges, the Nile, the Mississippi, and the Indus. This one was the most important reason for embellishment of these ancient civilizations. These civilizations illuminated at bank of rivers and rivers have seen their birth, growth and termination. And today situation is converted onto river itself as many major rivers are at the stage of termination.
This situation of obsolescence of a river is something, i wants to convey through series of photography. Hailing from a religious place ‘Deoghar’ which is the place of mountains and rainy rivers but Today Rivers are replaced by sand congeries. After Deoghar, i graduated from another religious place, Varanasi, which itself situated at the bank of ‘Ganga’ river. So, it’s obvious of coming out of that free flowing image of river which he has seen, observed and lived with his childhood days. But that flowing image of river has much struggled with its contemporary situation/image. This conflict of contradictory images, one is lively and energetic and the other is lifeless and dried away; has given Ajay the title of this series of photographs,‘Concrete memories of serous’.
These places; where I lived, brought up and educated, the religious milieu of them also touched my artistic nerve. So, he has connected this conflicted image of river with Indian mythological narrations as well. As according to Hindu mythology the river ‘Ganges’ is an epitome of ‘purification’ which leads ‘salvation’, an ultimate goal of human life. A story of birth of Ganges lies in the religious austerity of king ‘Bhagiratha’ who evocated for ‘descent of Ganges’ onto earth for felicity of creatures. But today this Ganges of Bhagiratha seems struggling for its own survival and praying for her go back from earth.
Similarly, one of important Indian textual source ‘Mahabharata’ contains a scene narrating story of Draupadi, The Kouravas and the evincible faith of
Draupadi on lord Krishna. When Kauravas tried to ‘Cheer Harana’ of Draupadi in middle of their court, Draupadi prayed to Lord Krishna to help her and Draupadi’s sari became long enough to end. This heard and seen memory of pictures recalled again in form of these photographs, where Ajay imagine the river at place of Draupadi, who is praying for help. And we all must know, today no Lord Krishna will come to save her; we all human beings will have to play the role of Lord Krishna, but not to save only the lives of river but the lives of ourselves. Otherwise the increasing materialism and urbanism will rape our rivers.
Here the religious has connected to realistic, mythological has translated into materialistic, and the memory has converted into present harsh truth. So, the past, present and future all connected at one place arising internal dialects and at a single moment giving solution to it. The symbolic representations of the scenes, is something I enjoyed photographing and my characters are the lone individuals having a silent dialogue with their viewers by each click of photograph and video
I play with the color in a nature with the conscious or subconscious shape. I enjoy playing with that color to different space, time and form .In search of new playful language.
Text by Nisha Aggrawal
Rajesh kumar singh(varanasi) ,Bhumi nishad ,Kali (moladl in varanasi), Anjali Gupta,Sonu kumar,Mukesh tiwari, Kalicharaan, (2 nd shoot in droghar )Nivedita sharma (modal in deoghar), Kornik school of fine art (deoghar,jharkhand), Dharitri sharma, Mukuand anand, pratik khowala, Satya singh. English Translation courtesy by Nisha Agarwal editing Shard das gupta and ajay sharma , Camera & Direction Ajay kumar sharma