Iceboat and Sky Fold
This show comprises of two videos by Neha Choksi, Ice Boat ,a video of a performance in February 2012 and Sky Fold, a series of photographic cyanograms made in 2013 during the production of Iceboat.
In Iceboat the artist dresses in white, as if a renunciate or a devotee, and sets herself to row a boat of ice until the boat melts and releases her into the waters. The ultimate melting and floundering is a real experience of loss made vivid in a staged and measured way (just as in Minds to Lose and Leaf Fall). The material of ice is familiar. We know it will melt and lose buoyancy and give a clear end to the performance. It will lighten and relieve.
The artist approached the performance as a poetic exegesis not only on the effort to stay afloat despite the inevitability of failure, but also on striving and surrendering, on coping and release, resistance and collapse. There is nobility and absurdity to the material surrender that hints at the ultimate bodily forfeiture we all must accept.
Choksi's interest in evanescence and presence, in 'an affirmative act of destruction', and in gravity, persists in all her performed and video works: Choksi's Iceboat, 2013 is the third in a trilogy of work on reticence, absenting, withdrawing, and disengaging. The first two were Leaf Fall, 2008, and Minds to Lose, 2012.
The Sky Fold cyanograms are simple photographic works reflecting only the means of their own production, folded paper and light. The sky is invoked by the choice of the colour cyan and the choice of cyanotype process that was originally used by it's inventor, the astronomer John Herschel, for his astronomy notes and diagrams. Here is a blueprint of the folds in the sky, the creases in time-making the sky something we get our hands on.