Dissonant Mythologies

Sahej Rahal / Mumbai, India — Mrz 27, 2018

Sahej Rahal, »Dissonant Mythologies«, Ghosted, 2018

Rumor is the primary ignition that propels the formation of myth in the technologically hypersaturated twenty-first century. Despite heightened possibilities of verifiability accorded by an increasingly interconnected world, myths persist today more than ever, festering with their bizarre and often grandiose claims with the strength to influence geopolitics on an unprecedented scale.

From the rise of the alt-right Internet shamans such as Jordan Peterson, who refashion racist and sexist ideologies using meme culture, to the proliferation of images of Hindu gods embracing technology that have propelled the far-right Hindu ideology of Hindutva into mainstream politics in recent years, today we see the reemergence of myths, in a form that has the might to recast its own set of perceived heroes and villains in the arena of contemporary civilization.

For the Solitude & ZKM web residencies, I propose to create a video game that mirrors the parallel dissonant mythologies. The game space will act as an archive of digital ephemera, such as fragmented forms of the Internet rumor, the conspiracy meme, and the »truth-claim« propaganda … and interrogates the formation of the contemporary myth.

The player is guided through the space by a »voice of god« narrator, who mimics the tone of the Internet shaman figure, and the game space will be created by 3D-scanning my own sculptures, employing them as props and puzzles. The game will carry within it a mythology with multiple overlapping and contradicting narratives. These will then spill over into the real world through player interaction, where – upon completion of the game levels – the player will receive 3D-printable files of the in-game objects, which can be further remixed, reappropriated, or printed by the player.

Sahej Rahal

Sahej Rahal’s installations, films and performances are part of a constructed mythology that he creates drawing upon sources ranging from local legends to science fiction. By bringing these into dialogue with each other, Rahal creates scenarios where indeterminate beings emerge into the everyday as if from the cracks in our civilization. Rahal’s participation in institutional and major solo & group exhibitions internationally have included Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham UK, 2o18; Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, 2017; PRIMARY Nottingham, UK 2017; the Liverpool Biennial, 2016; Setouchi Triennial, 2016; Jewish Museum, New York, 2015; Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2014; Vancouver Biennale, 2014;  MACRO Museum, Rome, 2014. His work has been exhibited at Galleria Continua, Les Moulins, France, 2014 and Art Stage Singapore, 2014. He has had two major solo exhibitions at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai. He is a recipient of the INLAKS emerging artist award 2012; the IFA Critical Arts Practice grant 2014; the Forbes India Art Award, 2014, for best debut show for his solo exhibition ‘Forerunner’ at Chatterjee & Lal, Mumbai; and most recently the Cove Park/Henry Moore Fellowship, 2017.

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