Sustaining Collapse Manjot Kaur

Chinese ink and watercolor on wasli paper and repurposed wood. Courtesy of the Artist. Photo: Aad Hoogendoorn.

Sustaining Collapse is a drawing installation created in the style of a graphic book that takes reference from the Pahari miniature paintings. The drawings depict an imaginary landscape composed of fragmental sceneries from both India and Italy. The agricultural lands are overly consumed as they span across the state of Punjab in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent - an urban region that is constantly expanding due to the growing population. The inky black smoke covering the controllably burned fields demonstrates this agrarian overconsumption, which crucially affects the local nature and its diverse ecosystems.

Fictional creatures which resemble invasive alien viruses, appear in different parts throughout this series of drawings. They indicate the biodiversity imbalances caused by manmade actions. Likewise, the Venetian windows, as well as the collaged Vaporetto and transportation tickets, simulate the rising water level and the enduring threat of the sinking Italian lagoon city.

By juxtaposing issues occurring in two different geographies, the work highlights how allegedly local ecological damages have irredeemable and synaptic influences on the wider global scale. It further raises questions on the long-term socio-political and environmental repercussions of the unsustainable and capital-oriented economy on the landscape as well as on the smaller and perhaps marginalized ecosystems, organisms and communities.

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