The Ghost Effect in Real Time, Tilton Gallery
Ganesh’s charcoal drawings are inspired by the early silent cinema productions of India, Germany and the US. These works examine the relationship between of science fiction, epic myth, and Orientalism, intertwined narrative threads which crystallize the development of a new technology shared across continents, and repeat themselves as iconic moments of a lost silent cinema world. The artist considers the potency of photography, theater and myth as key referents that animate silent cinema prior to the development of cinematic code. Using both compressed charcoal, and powdered charcoal dust and brush, Ganesh’s drawings pulse with a painterliness that echoes the loose aesthetics of early film.
Based on photographic documentation of spirit mediums, séances and ectoplasm (pseudo-scientific term for spiritual matter) popularized in the 1920s and 1930s, Haunted Documents explores the roots of photography as a doorway to other worlds, recording the ephemeral and the liminal, archiving experiences of spiritual and geographic crossroads. Chitra Ganesh and Christopher Myers reference contemporary languages of magical realism, combining large format photographic prints with material interventions that fracture and extend the dialogue about spirituality, anthropology, surface, and document.