Kochi: Archaeology has become a tool of interactive art for Afghan artist Amanullah Mojadidi, who is working on a multi-media land installation art at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale beginning on Dec 12. Amanullah has replicated an archaeological dig - on an 8x10 sq ft plot of land - at the Aspinwall House, a colonial relic in the historic quarters of Fort Kochi by the harbour to explore the threads between migration, dislocation, subversion of history through archaeological manipulations and clash of Sufi and Sunni Islam. Forty-one-year-old Amanullah, who was born in Jacksonville in the US, works from Kabul where he campaigns for freedom through his art. He shows his works around the world.
One of his installations, "Jihadi Gangster" - a series of photographs about a day in the life of a "neo-jihadi" - shot at a bling art performance last year ran into trouble with the authorities. The series emerges from the conflict between civil society that is trying to rebuild the new Afghanistan and the hardline fundamentalists still at work. In his homeland, Amanullah has been received with critical acclaim for his radical post-modern and conceptual art that draws from the current social realities of Afghanistan.
The installation at the Kochi Biennale is essentially a series of earth patterns, made of a trench - a shallow horizontal mud basin hosting the remains of a home supposedly belonging to an "exiled Afghan businessman". A camp office next to the dig - made of tin and mud - serves
01:39 PM, Dec 04, 2012