Curator: François Cheval

A nostalgic, at times melancholic journey takes place before our eyes, where floating images collide with a hypothetical past depicting Sukanya Ghosh’s personal souvenir scrapbook. We see a succession of animated films in which the characters show up one after the other, in the form of fragments. They appear as fast as they disappear. The origin seems to be a series of successive identities. They file by like a panorama at a funfair in sepia-coloured surroundings. 


Who among us is not looking to rebuild? Travelling back in time at least means all painful images are expunged. On each of the artist’s photograms, the drawings change and set the sequence of scenes that aim to reconstitute a past that is hard to explain. 


The piece goes back in time. It refuses the present. Modern technology provides the perfect means of examining an anxiety-free world. The narrative is imbued with the sweet bitterness of times past. Sukanya Ghosh uses the digital to engrave a feeling of returning home, just like Ulysses. She moves back into a territory, making it her own, and into a time of which she hopes to retain a trace. Her link to the past does not correspond to the criteria of the modern world. Time remains a reversible material, from foundation to dissolution. The order to creation is infinite, followed inexorably by other losses. Each short film is both genesis and decomposition.


What may, at first, appear as a disjointed narrative is, in fact, a collection of impressions, memories and obsessions. The act of drawing, engraving, sticking images, adding sound, etc. repairs the work of time. Time becomes a clear conscience of an untraceable, personal happiness. The risk is to just see what the artist sees or think what she thinks! Bu art does not always need newness, it needs lives above all, lives that precede the artist, lives that have already happened or are already over!


We need to remind ourselves of the importance, not of what we are made of, but of what we need in our make-up. A narrative order is required to make sense of the daydream. Sukanya Ghosh’s sensibility needs a methodical process. Geometry is omnipresent in her work; a strong affirmation of the allegiance memory owes to the science of range. This trip back in time relies on reason through the use of a few orthonormal lines that logically assemble all of the scattered elements collected by Sukanya Ghosh. They disperse some of the dark terror of the backward journey of the overlapping visuals. Life is an equation with a number of unknowns, a mix of reason and emotion.


The revelatory capacity of these graphic signs extends the emotional power of the old images. Here, nothing is revealed, but the pathway is cleared for the reconstruction of a mythical, yearned-for past.

All images of Repairing the Work of Time

© Sukanya Ghosh

Courtesy of the artist

About the Artist:

Sukanya is artist, animation filmmaker and designer. Her artistic practice is located within painting, photography, animation and the moving image. She is interested in the minutiae of urban life, the fantasy of popular culture and the shape shifting of memory. She works extensively with collage, erasure and deconstruction.


Born in Calcutta, 1973, Sukanya has a BFA in Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda, and a AEPEP in Animation from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. She has been have been awarded the Charles Wallace India Trust Award, Sarai Independent Fellowship; artist commissions from French Embassy in India, Royal Commonwealth Society, UK and Motiroti, UK, among others. She has also been Artist-in-Residence at Khoj, New Delhi; Spike Island, Bristol, UK; and AIR Vallauris, France.


Her work has been part of several shows both nationally and internationally. Most recently in Jimei x Arles Festival 2019, Xiamen, China,Ellipsis, 2019 Jaipur, Ephemeral,Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa 2018; Mutations, 2018 New Delhi; Fòcas India: Document(India, Scotland); GoaPhoto 2017; The Surface of Things, 2016, New Delhi and 2017, Mumbai and Tales & Fables2015, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Yokohama.


She also managed Arts programmes and design at the Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Calcutta for several years (2001-06). She has been involved in various design projects including publicity design for films (Taare Zameen ParPeepli [Live]); as well over 15 years of graphic design projects such as book, exhibition and theatre design.


She lives and work between Delhi and Calcutta.