Paribartana Mohanty, Visiting Artist, South Asia Institute Arts Program
Chair: Namita Dharia, Lecturer in Anthropology, Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences
The lecture-performance is part of Mohanty’s larger project ‘Act the Victim’ that engages with the images of crisis circulating on social media. It is based on a video excerpt of TV interview of Narendra Modi, then Chief Minister of Gujarat, that went viral on social media just before the 2014 General Elections in India. ‘Great Eternal Return’ will deal with the plethora of anonymous and mysterious images circulating on social media landscape, and traveling across geographical boundaries, contesting meanings and proposing misreadings. It will on one level study the shifting values of these obsessively parasitic images: their displacement, associations, propagandas, and investigate the processes of their creation and resurrection elsewhere. On the other hand, it will attempt to comprehend our encounters with these temporal images that continuously replace each other in an itinerant loop and become part of our collective memory, occupy our everyday conversations, public sphere, and our dreams.