Unlearning Lessons from my Father is a poetic response to questions around archiving. From within a political and cultural temporality that does not ‘archive’ to record, what would a ‘looking back at’ entail? Mani looks to his own personal biography and its connection to the history of colonisation; particularly at the forced migration of trees and plants which include cashew, pineapple, rubber and tapioca. Mani claims his father and brother sold cashews to the nearest state border in order to make money to send the children to school while his parents were rubber tappers working at various plantations in Kerala. Mani therefore weaves a narrative that connects colonial and material histories of these fruits and plants to the personal histories connected to indigenous lands, bodies and knowledge.
Sajan Mani is from a younger generation of artists working in performance. His practice combines installations and environments that incorporate everyday objects and video, demonstrating one way that performance extends beyond the body of the artist.
This act, themed as Performance Beyond The Body is part of Out of Turn, a project curated by Meenakshi Thirukode and Asia Art Archive.
Image Credits: Sajan Mani, Srinagar Biennale Basel – Markus Goessi