Kanku Raga 2007

Kanku Raga is a seven-minute video piece. Hetain has assigned each stroke from the tabla drum language to a different movement of marking or erasing Kanku pigment from the body. The result is a dissected rhythm presented visually and audibly. Performing each part himself, Hetain is interested in the idea of instilling cultural rhythm physically within the body through repetition. The symbolic use of the Kanku pigment is a development from earlier work interrogating the identity of the visual body. The artist marks himself not on the forehead but instead emblazons the rich red colour more overtly across his chest. He marks himself repeatedly and with purpose. Though the mark making takes place within Indian time and with Indian pigment, the trace that remains is the English St George’s cross. As with all of his works this is not intended as a statement but rather a question.

6 min 44 sec

Single channel, projected with sound