Lying in Wait

Lying in Wait starts with a slow fade into a night scene shot from my balcony. A streetlight, the lights from houses in the neighbourhood and the headlights from passing cars light up parts in the scene — the power lines, the neighbouring boundary wall, and the occasional figure walking across it. Lightning from an approaching storm also periodically illuminates the scene to bring the white balustrade into full view. The balustrade references a distinctly colonial architectural history in South Asia, while also suggesting the domestic, often feminine space that it signifies in Western art history. The view from the balcony is at once protective and constrictive. With an impending storm, it marks an in-between space, one that is partially sheltered and perhaps privileged, yet isn’t entirely impervious to the conditions that surround it. Layered voices speak over the barely visible and almost static scene. There is a sense of repetition in the audio, though it isn’t perfectly in synch. Each sentence starts with the word ‘waiting’. The voices are recognisable as being different in age as well as gender, with an older patriarchal male voice missing, though not conspicuously. The voices have a constant, relentless pace. The viewer waits to catch a phrase that becomes audible when said by one of the voices in isolation or when the same words are said in unison by more than one voice. Alluding to individual as well as collective anxieties, the repetition becomes a meditation, oscillating between real and metaphorical waitings. There are references to violence and unrest, in particular to bombings, which are concurrent at times with the visual of lightening, setting up a correlation and/or confusion between the threatening and the benign.

Shown At

  • Museum London as part of the exhibition ‘Front by Front’
  • Pleasure Dome in Toronto as part of the ‘New Toronto Works’ program in 2012
  • The Niagara Arts Centre in Saint Catherines and Innis Town Hall in Toronto for ‘Monitor 7: New South Asian Short Film and Video in 2011.’