Using rare archive footage of Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri’s solo tabla performance at the Darbar Festival in 2012, Patel had created his own performance, filmed at his home, that responds to and is syncronised with the timing of the concert.
Though a former tabla student himself, Patel does not come from a musical lineage. He was introduced to the tabla as a spectator ten years ago, drawn to its many layers – from the rhythm and complex time cycles, to the richness of the sounds – and the dexterity and dedication of the musicians.
As with all of Patel’s artworks, whether video, performance or sculpture, he aims to connect the unfamiliar with the familiar, to share access to worlds with seemingly hidden codes. In Heaven & Earth, he walks around his garden table in his back yard in South London; the small scale, domestic location and pedestrian aesthetic stand to contrast the magic, intricacy and virtuosity of the concert. Footage from these contrasting settings sit side by side connected by time, rhythm and movement.
In addition the walking provides a visual structure for the sixteen beat time cycle of the concert, allowing audiences, perhaps new to the art form, an additional entry point to Pandit Swapan Chauduri’s performance.
“It is Patel’s skilled precision in realising an almost seamless harmony of his culturally and historically divergent source material that gives his installations a distinctive resonance” – The Guardian
Heaven & Earth is commissioned by Darbar with support from Arts Council England