If one tries to understand distance from the root, one soon realises that ignorance causes distance. Ignorance is not only the lack of knowledge but the inability to acknowledge one’s own existence. Simply put, any form of distance has the ability to turn something which is visible into invisible and this could also be referred to as avoidance of familiarity. The manifestation in time of self is blurred or gets listed with time itself. Often we are not even aware of the idea of the ignorance of the self and so the relation of self with its situations and surroundings easily gets ignored. Ignorance works here as the driving force or the source that causes distance towards the self or its surroundings.
I understand distance from this perspective and to represent the idea, I have created very subtle visuals by capturing various moments, emphasising on the self being surrounded. These visuals contain some abstract feelings frozen in time during a lonesome journey. When its about putting it down in words philosophically or conceptually, I wouldn’t be so definitive about what it speaks of, as it is about encountering the time and being present – it is about feeling. Nevertheless, I try to put the feeling into a discourse representing the captured moments where the sense of being stopped in time and space in order to identify the ignorance and lose the distance, is present. In order to lose the distance, one should have a closer look at the distance and the factors causing it. The gesture (physical/mental/emotional) of coming closer or nearer in itself is the solution. The moment of experiencing the feeling of intimacy to anything is the very moment when the process of disappearing of distance begins.
If I try to elaborate the “Surrounded Self”, it is the state of mind in which one manifests to the present. Everything that is present in a moment – including the moment itself. It is a state of being stopped completely to become aware of one’s consciousness. The very concept of my process is about being surrounded which itself contains the sense of being near, connected, related or affected. One finds her/his being in these spaces where further, the process of getting lost and found again and again, begins. The resting body also takes the form of resting energy and when it becomes active, it is known as Vishnu. But the state of resting here is the process of knowing its own energy which I also find very interesting and suitable to the idea of coming closer and knowing the self. The idea of placing the body in the middle of a place/space, landscape or any surrounding, is to complement and enhance the surrounding itself. Gradually, the centrality of the body dedicates itself to its surroundings. The focus of the visual shifts from the body in the centre to the entire the landscape and the nature which surrounds the self. Just like being in the lap of mother nature.
Words: Anuradha Upadhyay
Edit: Shriya Pant
Photographs: Anuradha Upadhyay