Chapter 4: Harsh Reflections | The Enemies Project

Projection Performance

We are the culmination of what we do.

As such, blurring art and life can be both extraordinarily beautiful and potentially dangerous.

Chapter 4: Harsh Reflections | The Enemies Project

Harsh Reflection was a projection performance work in which I projected onto my body abstracted images of number plates photographed at sites of mass graves in Kashmir.

While in Kashmir, I visited several mass grave sites. There are many of these sites scattered across Kashmir – they dot nameless hillsides, and extend under the trees just beyond site of the road. I was taken to these hills by people who were told by the Indian security to bury bodies of Kashmiri men. All of the bodies were anonymous. The graves are identified only with hand-painted numbers on small metal plates at the foot of each grave. I photographed over a hundred numbers. I worked quickly, because the men showing me the graves had been arrested and tortured for showing the graves to others in the past. What was I doing endangering these men for an art project. The blur between art and life in the project sharpened intensely on these visits.

I created this performance when I returned as an expression of these experiences.

——— About The Enemies Project ———

This is one chapter in a larger project called “The Enemies Project.” In an effort to blur the distinction between art and life, I traveled to conflicts around the world seeking to unite current and past enemies. Read more about the project here.
Video: “ENEMIES – My Search For Light In Terrible Conflicts,” TEDx San Antonio, 2013
Video: “About the Enemies Project”

This summer, in August of 2019, the Indian Prime Minister Modi unilaterally declared an end to Kashmir's semi-autonomous government. When he announced this, he also cut off all phone, internet and cellular services in the state. And so now Kashmir is dark to the world. The works on this page come from my time in Kashmir trying to understand the people behind this tragic and decades long conflict.

 

This is a good article about the recent events: The Silence is the Loudest Sound