Locating the Self

Locating the Self 
06 Jan 2006 – 28 Jan 2006
Paradise Road Galleries 

There is an interdependency between the location and the ways in which one identifies and feels his/her own self. Self Is a construction of its’ location, the location is an expanded reflection or projection of self. Therefore making the self is associated with how one positions his/her self in the locations of geography, history, and memory. This may be the reason that the Sangam period (before 3rd C AD) of Tamil literature speaks of human experience and expression in relation with location and categorize them with five kinds of landscapes such as Mufiat Marutharn, Neithai, Kurunchi and Padai.
Through destruction, displacement and migration, the war destroyed, dismantled and. disturbed the layers of physical and psychological connections, which one cultivated with his/her immediate surrounding over the period of time. This situation forced the dislocated individual to live in a collage of time and space created by the fragmented memories, histories and realities of location and also question the notion of identity based on nationality, citizenship, geographical territory and collective memory.
In my recent works, my school days classroom exercises on maps got new meaning and became the means of portraying the self. This also recreated fossils of forgotten memories of uprooted age-old settlements through collagIng, juxtaposing, superimposing and tailoring different kinds of maps and human anatomy. I am metaphorically and symbolically suggesting the nuances of experience of a dislocated self.

-Thamolharampillai Shanaathanan January, 2004