7 March 2021 | anandipandey
Rati Chakravyuh is a slow-burning philosophical procedural
Rati Chakravyuh is a slow-burning philosophical procedural, importing the phenomenological vocabulary of immersive media to meld with the earliest tendencies of video art's interest in time and being. There is a playing down of the hyperreal enthusiasm of say, a work like Kalighat Fetish (1999) or Vakratunda Swaha (2010), for a restraint and responsibility more becoming of an ethic sensitive to the social and the political. In the context of fiction, David Marcus has termed this subdued passion, this new late capitalist nervousness about late capital, 'post-hysteric'. One might argue that this latest work on love, death, and the meaning of life, so shorn of immoderation as to strike a chord of resonance in generations emerging from the shrill alarms of a morally panicked political economy, is an example of that. The deadpan allusion to spurts of madness and deviance out on the streets is enunciated, almost satirically, by the casualness of the barbarism indoors. There is a sincerity to the stories being told, aimed at capturing the stoic compulsions of the early 21st century imaginary. Irony has doubled back to return to its earliest consorts, defiance and death, best exemplified by one of the most celebrated conversationalists, Socrates. That the speakers are richly garbed and bejewelled, clearly belonging to an upper-caste, upper-class stratum, while holding forth on scenarios tinged with blood, grime and squalor, becomes disorienting, almost upsetting.