March 30, 2020
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Samar Singh Jodha

Photographer and installation artist Samar Singh Jodha on his latest work Outpost, a visual essay on a global culture where individual aesthetic notions are framed by commercial interests

Samar Singh Jodha
Samar Singh Jodha

What made you focus on individual expression in a homogenising global culture?

My two decades of work is on marginalisation of individuality in this race for globalisation. Outpost is a collaborative work with metal workers in northeast India and Mumbai.

How do the miners of the Northeast keep the engines of mass culture running?

It’s yet another outpost, far removed from life in my home and material environment.

Why do you say art-making is too precious a gift to be restricted to the virtuoso?

There is too much emphasis on processed art, but the majority of traditional artists don’t have formal art education. They have to contend with disappearing practices and funds.

Did you find interesting stories in the containers turned into homes by miners?

Yes, personal stories of uprooted individuals leaving families and old traditions behind.

Tell us about your spine sculpture.

Humans are functional because of their spines. Taking that as a metaphor, I used big hinges to give them a certain human form.

What does language do in your works?

The attempt is to do more experiential art, not to make dense statements.

How was the work received at the Venice Biennale and Venice Architecture Biennale?

Being an independent presentation, it did receive quite a lot of attention.

How has Northeast India inspired you?

Travelling from Kunming in Southwest China to Northeast India a decade ago got me thinking how north India dominates our country.

Will Outpost travel across the world?

Dubai and Barcelona are the next two stops.

Future projects?

I have an ongoing project on the girl child in conflict regions.

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