» Habeas Corpus: Meet the Flesh
BY: Shyamal Bagchee

The accompanying lines and images constitute parts of an ongoing and awry meditation on the largest bodily organ: skin. Skin in relation to what it holds-muscles, bones, and most particularly "purple pearls coagulated." Also, skin that is almost not there, or skin saying good bye-just stripping flaking drying blotching moulting away. At other times faded ripped bruised bloated embalmed perfumed anointed diseased. Discriminated, lynched, left dangling.

To the extent a work purporting to be art seeks to represent anything beyond itself (and this may be a very small extent indeed, as in this specific case) that work performs an act of translation. More likely than not, it enacts quite a number of translations at once. At the very least, it traverses histories-some spaces and some times-as it travels or moves from the maker to readers/listeners/viewers-its consumers, so to speak. One might even say that it enters a supply chain system, and goes places as well as does things at those other locations-locations other than the ones that produced it. In short, it translates-at times just itself, at other times a lot more.

What follows next is only my supposition. I suppose that as far these particular works are concerned, they just might be trying to translate acts of adaptation-in particular one's adaptation to the reality of aging-of moving on but not moving forward any more. Translating one's adapting to the infinite ironies of middle age. Decaying, though not dead. Not dead, therefore, still desiring: homme moyen sensual in decline. Now nearing the end one finally understands desire, but by adapting to that understanding one pretty much disables the dynamism of desire. The erasing of desire and the fading of objects of desire: taut muscle, active platelet, sound bone, clear ocular jelly, robust kidney-and the supple skin that holds it all, holds it all in-now just barely. Holds? Held?

Images included in these works were made during my travels, in regular studio shooting sessions, spontaneous snap shots taken at various times at different locations, as well as ones recovered from collections of old electronic equipments and of Victorian postmortem photographs.

View more...