Delhi based artist Lallan, presented a critical show– An Imperfect Cinema. The multi- channel installation is an anthology of four digital video works based upon and inspired by the Cuban Film maker, Julio Garcia Espinosa’s essay: ‘’For an Imperfect Cinema’’ published in 1969.
A series of four digital video installations, on display explore the concept of cinema and a seminal text "For an Imperfect Cinema" (1969) by Cuban filmmaker Julio Garcia Espinosa. Lallan started his creative journey as a filmmaker documenting social-cultural impact of rapid urbanization in and around Delhi-NCR region as the city devoured its surrounding rural countryside. The loss of a lifestyle, led him to seek artistic expression through the craft he honed over the years. In the show , he uses conventions of ‘cinema’ as a medium, especially in application of sound and music as cues. Yet, Lallan’s cinema is narrative-free, non-linear and poetic in its arrangement. He transfigures Espinosa’s manifesto into a visual art form using the language of cinema.
He explains, “The work’s primary motive is to create spaces that enable me as an artist to share my perspectives regarding the existence of the form ‘Cinema’ and its meaning and implications; and to initiate dialogue with anyone who experiences these works. Espinosa’s essay was the catalyst to a period of rigorous self-introspection regarding my practice of making films plus videos. The works were brought to life, after a long meditative process of revisiting my studio archives, time and again, over the course of last six years.”
Lallan was born to a tribe of pastoralists in a valley of the Aravali mountain range. While growing up, he inherited poetry, music and folk traditions, primarily from his grandmother, alongside other members of the tribe. He has been painting and working with wood since the age of five. He is a multi-disciplinary artist who works with text, video, performance, new media, fabric, mixed media and earthen material to create expressions. In the early years of his professional career, he was commissioned a wide array of projects across the Indian subcontinent by United Nations, UNICEF, Ford Foundation, various NGO’s and other organisations, while working alongside and for various ministries like the, Ministry Of Environment, Ministry Of Human Resources, National Green Tribunal, Ministry Of Water Resources et al, primarily creating works concerned with migration, ethnicities, displacement, agriculture, human rights, women and children issues, labour rights and issues, employment and environmental issues. The experiences lived from these years, have led him to sketch expressions that long to elude the contemporary, and strive to communicate with the roots from which, they were born.
Says Lallan, “I work with communities, governments and social organisations for projects of social and environmental relevance, making works that communicate issues and problems of the times we are living in. Most of it is documentaries, short films and other communicative material.”
“Working with masses over the years, I realised that there is no way, non conventional or popular media is reaching people especially that, which holds more importance than entertainment only in the fiction fed cinema of ours. At the same time I came across this essay by Espinosa and thought it was the perfect strike to carry out on a form which needs to be heard in its many ways,” adds Lallan.
Talking about the people who inspire him, Lallan says, “Amar kanwar, the most out of everyone, Kanu Behl, Majidi, Espinosa, but more than artists I look for inspiration from commoners, people I meet on the road and in villages and rural areas, environmentalists and scientists and the activists I work with."
Arts are the foundation of our human existence and shape societies, and the times we are living in, especially times coming ahead, are troubled. He mentions, “We face grave socio-political and environmental problems and given our current world ways, our children have a dark and fearful future awaiting them. Artists, thinkers, and social workers have to take that head on, and make works that erases all of the above, as much as they can be. As artists, we also need to be responsible for how the society interacts and consumes art, for a healthier and sustainable living. So I would also advise every young artist to keep questioning and challenging whatever they face, with all their honesty, will and strength!”