In fond remembrance of the night that wasIn anticipation of the dark that awaits
Nighttime is often when both humans and animals revert to their truest and most intense physical and psychological states. Arko Datto
looks at the night and life that subsists in nightly spaces, often in direct and brutal confrontation with each other, walking through it as if it was a dream. The book is conceived as a dream itself, as a non completely conscious state in which repetition, overlaying and visions are the reference points for a path into the unknown.
Covering a span of four years, MANNEQUIN presents a portrait of the Indian night and is the first installment of an existential trilogy on night time, night life and night space – three essential elements that exist both in grudging harmony and brutal confrontation.
MANNEQUIN began in the early days of 2014, barely a few months before Hindu extremists took over the country. Looking back into this work today, the artist has discovered premonitory signs of things to come, the writing splayed out across the fraught landscapes of the night: broken trucks, burning houses, shrouded children, violent births, dead cows, masked men, mad men, men without arms, furtive intimacies, crumbling mannequins of erstwhile gods: glimpses into the symbols that would soon become emblematic of India today.
An India where right-wing Hindu sentiments are confused with nationalism, where cow vigilantes lynch Muslims and Dalits suspected of eating beef or smuggling cows, where anti-Romeo squads assault inter-faith and inter-caste couples, where mothers beg sons to leave their taqiyahs at home and where Facebook and Whatsapp are used to spread hatred, hysteria and paranoia. India today is at war with itself, a country determined to exterminate its minorities, its vulnerable and its
disenfranchised. Intolerance, terror and the clash of civilizations resonate universally across cultures and continents as the forces that are shaping the world of today. Technology's promise of a united world of understanding and interconnectedness falls apart while we fail to hear one another's pleas in the ever-widening gyre.
The sun set before we knew it. Fascism is not nigh. It is now. And the night is long.
"Will My Mannequin Be Home When I Return' is the first chapter of a trilogy that L’Artiere will entirely publish in the next few years. Designed in collaboration with Nicolas Polli
one of the most exciting designers working on the contempoary photo scene and art director of YET magazine
is represented by East Wing and premiered this series at Unseen Amsterdam 2018