Adrift & at Sea
2022 - 2023
Exhibition, Multi Media and Drawings
Sound Design and Composition: Nikhil Narendra
"Reimagining the meaning of being ‘adrift at sea,’ Devika Sundar presents the internal expanse of the human body as aqueous forms that are unbound and untethered. In doing so, she brings out the uncanny echoes between us and bodies of water, in the way that they can be imaged, heard, and understood. This mode of enquiry emerged from Sundar’s experiences with undiagnosed chronic pain and the research that it led to on the differences between medical visualisations in the East and the West. Sundar found holistic representations that account for the body’s ebbs and flows to provide better insight into the mysteries of its functioning in comparison with the fragmentation of the body into parts and symptoms as is standard in Western medicine.
Sundar’s research also reinforced the comfort that she had always experienced in the water as a place where the body felt held and where pain momentarily subsided. While the chronic nature of an illness could make an individual feel a sense of loss of control, water can teach the body to submit to uncertainty and to let go. Taking this idea further, Sundar has been exploring visual resonances between human organs and marine organisms and the way that they appear to the eye as well as under the microscope. Further, Sundar highlights the resemblances between the sounds of ripples and waves and animals underwater to the rhythms of the gurgling and clicking heard inside humans during auscultation and other procedures like scanning. What remains central, nevertheless, to Sundar’s practice is an acknowledgment of the enigmas of the human body and bodies of water that remain ambiguous and impenetrable"
- Zeenat Nagree