Reetu Sattar


A Bird of Stone

"The bloody massacre in Bangladesh (1971) quickly covered over the memory of the Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia, the assassination of Allende drowned out the groans of Bangladesh, the war in the Sinai Desert made people forget Allende, the Cambodian massacre made people forget Sinai, and so on and so forth until ultimately everyone lets everything be forgotten."

- Milan Kundera (The book of Laughter & Forgetting)

Walking about 15 km way from the US embassy Dhaka, with stones at both feet and singing bowl at hand, came out of the ephemerality of the human state created by the present emergence of border and neo-lithic crisis of invasion among countries. To Reetu, peace is a utopia. But memory can create a range of dystopia. To Reetu, memory has the potential of altering an impossible happening, by awakening the sleeping question of who we are. Memory has the strength of a fairy tale that can get close to answering those questions.

This project is an experiment, which seeks to answer these questions with our shared, collective memories. Reetu tried to create memory, rechecking the memory after two years to find out if a personal dedication for the greatest global catastrophe could possibly create a personal memory. Or whether it was just something that faded away under the rubble of one and then another and then another.

In the past six months the most challenging aspect for her was to develop the memory for a white cube, to look into the experience as a work in progress. She believes the process raises the question:  is performance ephemeral or does it have an afterlife as well?