Experience of being contained and then re-represented
Ok this smells.
That is how I felt, while lying down, wrapped in the Calico cloth as an Egyptian mummy (well…to be fair to them -mummy don’t have the luxury of watching the fan rotate on the ceiling). Both my team-mates had gone out of the room. I forgot the reason why. The paint on cloth covering my upper body was drying, though I could feel the coolness of water seep through it and spread on the newspaper that was between my T-Shirt and cloth.
I should have removed my T-shirt. This is a waste. Now I am not sure what I am doing. WHY am I doing this? I don’t even understand cloth. Well that can be seen through my fashion sense. Why did we chose to work with cloth?
I kept thinking about purpose of this exercise. Which then went to purpose of life (lying motionless can do that to you). But my epistemological journey was soon interrupted by sounds of laughter. Someone had entered the room. Other group members? No, It was a PDP student. Who asked me the question I was struggling with
“What the hell are you guys doing?”
It was then I resorted to the most profound, psuedo-intellectual debatable answer, that one can use (and has used) in Srishti –
Quiet naturally, I knew what his second question was going to be, so I was already ready with it like catapult to throw it back at him.
“What do YOU think we are doing?”
Good. Now I can use whatever he says, to hitchhike on it and make it a very transcendental conceptual piece of work.
“I am not sure. But whoever you are suppose to be, I feel bad for you. How long have you been here like this?”
“Umm..about 20 minutes. My team-mates are going to be back and continue painting”
“Hmm..Cool. Hopefully you aren’t claustrophobic. It must be hard breathing in that”
He left with that.
Great. Thanks. I AM claustrophobic and you just reminded me of it. Happy thoughts, Anupriy. Need a distraction. Ok, concept. Think concept. Try introspecting the experience. Enlightenment shall occur.
Where are those guys? What’s taking them so long?
The forceful conceptualization technique was not working. I mean who was I kidding? There is not working –
Wait a minute!
The guy said whoever I was suppose to be. Whoever. Not whatever. Why?
It was as if the wrapping of the cloth may have done away with my identity, but was still with the context of a human identity. Just the question of which socio-cultural persona I was becoming.
To cloth, is human..
Presence of cloth, becomes a sign of humanity. A sense of culture, even when there maybe no sense to it by itself. Cloth is the medium. No, no. Cloth is a form to represent an identity. A constructed identity. I felt contained because I felt my biological identity was almost extinguished by this new constructed identity. (I was really trying to ignore the itching sensation this time). This conflict between the two identity always exist. But the exterior identity always wins. It gets to define how the entrapped essence (person in this case) is going to behave.
There are another phenomenon happening. Since, the exterior is what is noticed, the interaction with others happens with regards to the space in which ‘covered abomination’ is present. But the act of clothing, makes this abomination human again. Maybe a foreigner. But human nonetheless.
My team-mates came and finished of the painting. But these thoughts were going on in my mind.
At that time I was not sure how to express them (I MAY have used the covering of my mouth by the cloth as an excuse to justify)
Walking around and having eyes on me. Inside, through my eyes (which had not got a great look at how I was looking ,save from a couple of photos that were taken), I felt like the creature I mentioned. The unnatural way of the way I was covered (atleast for me), made me feel as if my identity was gone.
I assumed I looked like some weird fictional Middle-East character. (Perhaps, an ancient assassin, deadly and lethal – always a fantasy). But I could not deny that the entrapment made me feel like a creature. The only thing that reminded me of humanity was the touch of cloth around me.
I am not sure if this was an insight to something deeper. Or a pseudo-intellectual analysis of my condition then. But I thought it got me thinking…
I finally found some relationship with cloth…
Exposing of Identities
Being worked lying down
Abs of the Assassin