Fine Art Installation, 2012
Video projection on a painting, (video still), 16 min loop with sound
Forest is a video installation by artist Ranbir Kaleka that premiered at the Arario Gallery in New York. Ranbir, who resides in Dehli, India, produces art across a myriad of mediums including video, photography, and painting.
"The ‘Forest’ is full of metaphorical events which I believe have universal resonance. The piece can be simply described as an open ended work about ‘rejuvenation’ in a period of ‘confusion’ and ‘strife’. A field of flowers reveals burnt ground underneath where a man flagellates himself as an act of atonement. Sign of burnt-ground has in recent times meant ‘hidden atrocities’ and false encounters as well as deforestation. The flagellant gets up and walks off changing into an animated cartoon. He appears at various points in the video: He rescues some books from a burning library*. He educates himself with the books. He shows power of knowledge by re-growing lost limbs. He pours the ‘water of knowledge’ into a hole dug by a child. From the hole fountains rise and we see a city born underneath. *Book shelves in the forest symbolise a library of knowledge. I have shown a lion as the guardian of knowledge. The lion is driven away by the forces of destruction as the library is burnt. In the end we see a little cub return to the emergent city." - Ranbir Kaleka