Join us on e-flux Video & Film on monday april 18 for repeated screenings and looping Amit Dutta’s filmsa program of six selections of works by the filmmaker composed by the artist Iman Issa as the tenth edition of the Artist Cinemas online series, and accompanied by a six-part conversation between Iman and Amit.
The films will be shown Tuesday, April 19, 12 p.m. EDTavailable here.
Thanks for watching and reading!
Amit Dutta’s films
Accompanied by a six-part conversation between Amit Dutta and Iman Issa
Scenes from a sketchbook (2016, 21 mins) is based on and inspired by the tinted brush drawings, sketches and some finished but minimalist works of the master 18th century miniature painter Nainsukh. Even in some of his finished paintings, the artist did not hide his corrections and premeditations, which he allowed to show through an austere page mostly intact. This film attempts to do the same.
Nainsukh (2010, 82 minutes) delves into the mid-18th century, where an extraordinary master painter from the Himalayan foothills of Guler sets out on a journey to meet his patron in the small hill of Jasrota. He finds his match in the eccentric employment of Balwant Singh, whose only remaining testimony are the painter’s intimately attentive portraits of his employer.
In Chitrashala (2015, 19 minutes), when a gallery of paintings empties of its spectators, the curtains rise inside the paintings.
The unknown craftsman (2017, 88 minutes) tells a story that takes place towards the end of the 8th century, when an architect travels the mountains of the Lower Himalayas in search of the perfect site for the construction of a temple, envisioned not only as a place of worship but also as a monumental record capable of crystallizing the collective accomplishment of a civilization. Is he up to the task? He faces his own fears as the forces of nature test his learning along the way. When he arrives at his destination, mysterious apprentices assist him; but the work reaches perfection halfway and remains unfinished.
The Museum of the Imaginary: A Portrait in Absentia (2012, 20 minutes) was born out of several conversations the filmmaker recorded with Professor BN Goswamy, an important art historian from India, spanning his entire body of work. Interspersed with his speech were also silences. This film draws on some of these moments of silence and weaves them into a web of ideas and images that fill the mental landscape of the art historian.
Mother, who will weave now? (2022, 25 mins) attempts to sample and reflect the great tapestry of Indian textile tradition and history by interweaving snippets of Indian fabric on a table board, using the poetic meters of classic Indian literature sewn with the words and motifs of the weaver-saint Kabir.
About the program
“There are occasions when an encounter with another artist’s work leaves you with a feeling that you can describe, for lack of a better word, as a affinity with this job. An affinity isn’t just a matter of admiration or respect for another creator’s work, but a much stranger feeling. It’s a contradictory feeling to be both sensitive to a work’s deepest reasons for existing and amazed that it really exists. Feeling an affinity with a work can make you think you are able to fully grasp its logic. However, this is accompanied by the discernment of an impossibility inherent in the work, constantly pierced, at each new encounter, by the recognition of its absolute singularity. You attribute to the work a strangeness that comes from an inability to believe that anyone has thought of making such a work, in this way, in this form, which seems both disturbing and totally foreign to you. You may even believe that under different circumstances you would have done similar work yourself, knowing full well that you would never have thought of doing it. (Read the full text of Iman Issa here.)
The Films of Amit Dutta is a program developed by Iman Issa as part of the tenth cycle of the Artist Cinemas series. It ran for six weeks from March 7 to April 18, 2022, showing six films by Amit Dutta accompanied by a six-part conversation between Dutta and Issa, airing over six weekly episodes.
Films by Amit Dutta concludes Monday, April 18 with repeat airing of the six films featured in the schedule, streaming until Tuesday, April 19 at 12 p.m. EDT. Watch the movies here.
About Artist Cinemas
Artist Cinemas is a new e-flux platform focused on exploring the moving image as understood by people who make films. She is informed by the vulnerability and enchantment of the artistic process, producing non-linear forms of knowledge and expertise that exist outside of academic or institutional settings. It will also recognize the circles of friendship and mutual inspiration that unite the artistic community. Over time, this platform will draw new contours and produce different understandings of the moving image.
For more information contact =(c=c.charCodeAt(0)+13)?c:c-26);});return false”>program [at] e-flux.com.