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Untitled (Bit Part)

Sutapa Biswas
2003
6 mins 59 secs video
double screen projection

Untitled (Bit Part)

'Biswas' recent works are a device for awakening memory, gaining a foothold in the flux of time and conveying an insight into human lives.'

Untitled (Bit Part) is a double video projection. The left hand screen shows a child of about two crawl-climbing and descending a step carpeted staircase; on the right hand screen appears an extract from a bar scene from John Huston's 1961 film The Misfits. The pairing of the child on the staircase and the Misfits footage is complex, and gives a good deal of latitude for interpretation, although a child/adult dichotomy is very much present. The child is again the artist's son. His exploratory descent and ascent of the stairs is couched in domestic terms but has a stark simplicity - a ziggurat form - and even mythic overtones. Enzo is a typical child, could stand for all children. The Misfits, on the other hand, is a scene of adult mess, a sort of convivial but incoherent meeting of individuals who jostle together without really communicating. The two vignettes set up a strange tension in which the simple act of manoeuvring a climb and a descent becomes loaded when juxtaposed with the slowed down movement of a bar room scene.

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