Artist Sahil Naik and Curator Mario D’Souza unpack many big, small, and speculative histories, employing the rhino as a time-traveling device in the video essay Karkadann of Land and the Dark Seas. Using footage, paintings, reproductions, sculptures, computer generated imagery, and 3-Dimensional objects, the essay follows a nonlinear format to draw associations from the prehistoric to the silk route, the colonial to the modernist, while thinking about trade, cultural contamination, violence and erasure, magic and wonder. It places its faith in lived histories and those recorded in stories, speculations, rumors and remakes to challenge majoritarian narratives, especially those prescribed by the state and its devices (like museums etc). This work was triggered by the loss of the National Museum of Natural History in Delhi to a fire, and extends to a larger speculative investigation drawing from the inherited and the ancestral to the universal.
Access audio file HERE.