‘Many Kilometres, Several Words’ | Amol K Patil
The artist’s sound and video installations reinterpret a play by his father, Saata Patrachi Kahani (Postcard), written in Marathi in 1982 for a working-class audience. The play shows an exchange between a migrant mill worker in Mumbai and his wife living in a village in Maharashtra. Written at a time of widespread strikes to protest poor wages and labour conditions in the textile industry, the play captures the aspirations and grievances of an individual working within an environment where the sound of machines assaults the body only to become a part of its function through habituation. Patil presents stills and excerpts from the original play, and a video that creates a gestural lexicon of sounds and actions that suggest life in the mill and its cramped quarters. A four-channel sound installation, with material from tape recordings made by Patil’s father during rehearsals or for soundscapes for the theatrical performances, provides a counterpoint to the silent visuals.