Ranbir Kaleka – Man with Cockerel 1

<p>A bald man with a placid, Buddha-like face, clutching and letting go then clutching and letting go a plumed fowl (Man with Cockerel, 2001): this rhythmically repeated, soft-gray image offers a tantalizing grasp of desire, an allegory on dispossession. Kaleka’s subject-matter is representational and yet, by the form and brevity of its videoed avatar, by a trick of durational fallacy, by sheer transience, it erases its signified meaning. The imaged body – at the brink of dissolution and disappearance – reads like an index of mortality. Its quotidian identity is subordinated to a fragile sense of being where no assertion, no action is necessary except that which trusts in a minimal continuum of survival. The language of representation enters the liminal zone and the encounter, sanguine, serene, evanescent, resembles a haiku where the hypothesis offered about a lived life needs no backing of proof.</p> <p></p> <p>Text:&nbsp;excerpt from <strong>'Inside the Black Box: images Caught in a Beam',</strong> a talk given by Geeta Kapur on video and light-based installations at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi in November 2005.&nbsp;</p> <p>Protagonist: Ram Gopal Bajaj</p>