How do we make sense of the barrage of images of violence and displacement that come at us in endless news cycles? Have our senses been numbed to the extent that we unflinchingly move past these images? How do we honour the gravity of these news fragments? These were some of the questions that inspired Introspection, Michelle Poonawalla’s first major multimedia project.
For this installation, the artist turned to sound, using a combination of audio clips from the news as well as ambient sounds to create an intense, immersive experience. The journey through this experience began with sound, moving to the visual realm with a 360-degree projection of torrential blood-rain that signified the violence and trauma described in the audio clips. The sensorial experience ended in a moment of catharsis as the fiery rain was washed away by a cacophony of butterflies that flooded the screen, symbolising the final liberation of the departed souls.
Using fragments of audio clips from newsreels combined with ambient sounds and motion sensor technology, Introspection created a highly visceral and eerie experience which was conceptualised to push the audience into a contemplative space.
Introspection was first shown as a collateral project at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2018. The project was on view at the Cochin Club grounds from December 2018 to February 2019. Following a very warm reception at the Biennale, Introspection was selected to be exhibited as a guest project at Alserkal Avenue, Dubai during the much anticipated Dubai Art Week in March 2019. The project will travel to the START Art Fair, London in September 2019.