2021 - COLLECTIVE WISDOM PROJECT
Earth was formed around 4.54 billion years ago, approximately one-third the age of the universe, by accretion from the solar nebula. Volcanic outgassing probably created the primordial atmosphere and then the ocean, but the early atmosphere contained almost no oxygen until 2 billion years.
Recognizable humans emerged at most 2 million years ago but we have the last 4000 years of awareness or document/ed/ing awareness.
So this is a mere effort of passing the knowledge.
However small in comparison we feel we are the centre of the universe and time.
Aham Brahma Asmi (अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि) - "I am Brahman" … I am the Total
And since 'Brahman' is infinite, and this 'universe' is infinite…I am infinite!
Hence we are always totaling up our meanings and imaginations in n number of permutations.
For the past little over 2 decades, I have been questioning the idea that time and memory, beginnings and ends, arrivals and departures, and the very essence of the artist’s role in society (as I was born in a family of artists).
This has led to the themes of this project that revolves around the central themes of human consciousness and experience…a kind of humanist spiritual narrative through philosophy.
2019 - MIXITY
A land art project that strengthens the understanding of 'mixity', this work concentrates on bringing about a generic understanding of adaptability, binding nature and its by-products at various levels beyond.
Brought together through basic geometric shapes with rocks at the sea front, the project began from a triangle - a three-edged polygon with three vertices - shape-shifting and gradually increasing the number of vertices (corners) and eventually becoming a circle, suggesting that an increased connectedness with people make us well rounded - skilled, capable, knowledgeable and/or multifaceted in various aspects.
As the project progresses, corners dissolve into fluid lines, sculpting the landscape to create a temporal artwork in space; resonating the ever-changing shape of a mutating DNA.
The project ended with a performance bringing together all the participants sitting at close intervals along the installation. Later, standing in a circle bound in a contemplative gaze, facing the sea, the participants immersed themselves in thoughts of human malleability and solidarity.
Conceptualised by Ratnadeep Adivrekar
Conceived With Nilesh Kinkale, Anand Prabhudesai
& 7 Trails of Mixity
2017 - SHIPSOUL
ShipSoul documents the journey of two artists through Alang, the largest ship breaking port — the graveyard of ships, where half of the world’s ships are salvaged reducing them to scrap…Wolf and Ratnadeep breathe life into these found ship parts by transforming them into art...
Ships are the largest structures created by man. They are carriers of our technical expertise, expression of our culture and our economic performance. Ships also symbolize myths, stories, and legends of sailors at sea in storms and adventures, defying the force of nature.
These giant ships have been transporting goods weighing several tons across the ocean, each day for several years, and they end their journey at the Alang Port. In the Ship Breaking Yard of Alang, more than two hundred of these ocean giants are broken down by Indian workers daily in manual labor to recycle the valuable steel. After 25-30 years, every ship has had its day: it is sold, cut and finally melted in the smelter to new raw material.
For the steel-artist, Wolf, from Bensheim in Germany, such a shipbreaking yard is a particularly impressive place. Professionally a blacksmith, Sculptor Wolf comes as an ally who feels the soul of the dying structures. This ship cemetery offers an incomparable picture, as accounted by Wolf. One can be afraid to move freely there - "it makes a deafening noise with sparks everywhere". Between the several thousand tons of powerful metal, is a colossal act of the tiny workers; smokes and dust, hiss and popping, countless cutting torches. Hovering above everyone are the hanging mammoth steel parts on cranes. The place resembled the image of hell. With special permits Wolf and Ratnadeep could move there not only free, but also do a spectacular shoot.
Their Inspiration for the joint project was their vision of a soul dwelling in all these ships. Most of the times these huge ships were named after women and it often ended in the heartbroken stories of sailors after the ship went down. Ratnadeep and Wolf wanted a work of art, a creation in steel and painting that fabricated the circulations of the physical and spiritual existence, not only of life but also in the things around it. Indian myths of Evolution, including the rebirth of fish to amphibian to evolved intelligent human, meet here through Western symbolism that has been merged to form their own perspective. This enormous sculpture symbolizes the perpetual rebirth of the steel; especially recognizable maritime elements molded and assembled in a new sense.
These artists salvage parts from different ships in Alang, weld them together, and then paint it to give a complete sculpture out of these otherwise dead or wasted parts of the ship. Ratnadeep and Wolf have created the "Shipsoul" as a place for the homeless soul: "We wanted something new to be powerfully and dynamically risen from the decline of these ships; a creation to oppose destruction,” they believe. “The answer to the morbid destruction through life form and color joy,” explains Wolf.
The two artists were successful in creating an impressive piece of work full of radiance, vitality, mystery, with the simplest of means. It was important for them to incorporate the predetermined shapes, such as the curvature of the hull and keep them untouched, some reformed and others reassembled. The book is a symbol for the thinking man; the window represents transcendence, the column is considered as the axis of rotation of the world and the center of the universe, and the infinite expressed by the spiral. Each component of the sculpture has its own importance in its abstraction. Ratnadeep draws intangible parallels of 'Dashaavtar'* quotes and mostly makes reference to, “The dead elements come together alive creating new meanings like circle of life.” Ratnadeep bathes the rugged silhouette in its color composition, accented with images and painterly details. Furthermore, he quotes Chuang Tzu’s "Birth is not a beginning; death is not an end. There is existence without limitation; there is continuity without a starting-point. Existence without limitation is Space. Continuity without a starting point is Time." as the conceptual genesis.
*Dashavatar refers to the ten avatars of Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation. Vishnu is said to descend in form of an avatar to restore cosmic order in ten era’s reflective of Darwinian evolution.
For Ratnadeep it was unique experience working in steel, “The process was different because we were supposed to unexpectedly find forms from giant heaps of broken ship and use them in massive scale rather then casting them.” This working visit to India was also exceptional for Wolf who emphasized his view of extreme situations and impressions through these words: "This was adventure and ordeal, my personal milestone.”
The film follows their expedition in finding parts of recycled ships that they collect in order to create a final artwork, in nature. The result of this art collaborative is a painted sculpture weighing almost three tons and reaching a height of six meters ‘shipsoul’ at the beach of Revdanda. The imposing steel sculpture ‘shipsoul’ narrates the cycle of growth, the decay material and its spiritual existence.