Manifest (2023)

Manifest is a collection of images, landscape photographs that I have made over the last 2-3 years. Amidst large tracts of forest and agricultural lands being transformed into luxury residential projects and increased incidences of forest fires in Goa, speculated to be man made, Manifest is a reflection on this push and pull of a need to thrive and the effects of the human condition on nature and vice versa.

Images in Manifest are Photographed at night with a strobe; the images present residual observations of burnt charred forests. They are observations of land reclamation, the burning of forests and its regeneration. The decision to photograph at night and the use of a strobe light was to make something visible which perhaps was shrouded in the dark. The light only reaches so far until it falls off and recedes.

The archival pigment prints are manipulated by crushing to intertwine visuality and tactility - making them inextricable from each other - a mediation on the cyclical nature of death and life. The crumpled texture of the print surface evoke, impression of the terrains these dead forest exist in.

The way that I think about my photographic process is akin to a ritual of bardo. Seminal texts have been written on the photograph as akin to death and yet when one confers meaning over it, it begins to have a life of its own. Similarly in the ritual of bardo, consciousness of the deceased is guided to navigate through its confusion and be reborn into a new existence that offers a greater chance of attaining enlightenment. The transference of knowledge that happens after making the photographs is what motivates me — giving significance to make something anew.