So far, Berlin-based video-mapping artist Philipp Geist has heard a lot about Diwali. However, this is the very first time when he will not only participate in the festivities but will also use his medium of expression to mark the festival. On October 27 and 28, Geist will be video-mapping (light installations) city’s historical structure Shaniwarwada fort with the intention of creating and increasing awareness for public spaces as lively cultural spaces.
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“I’m looking forward to developing site-specific project during Diwali. I have heard a lot about Diwali and I’m very happy to be a part of it with my artistic work and ideas. Hopefully, it will be a wonderful experience,” he says.
This initiative is by Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan Pune in collaboration with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). In the past, Geist has lit up buildings and monuments in Brazil, Senegal, Iran and many other countries. The process of video-mapping, which is also known as projection mapping, is a technology used to turn objects into a display surface for video projection.
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Ask him how the concept of video-mapping helps in raising awareness about historical heritage of any place and he answers, “The installations are always temporary, but usually visitors take many photos and films, so besides the visitors’ own memory the pictures are around long after the projects.” The light show will begin after dusk at 7 pm on October 27 and 28. The popular DJane Ma Faiza will do the musical accompaniment on both the evenings.
Talking about how he forayed into video-mapping, Geist shares that his first exhibition of large-size paintings took place 20 years ago in 1996 in a forest in Bavaria. In the late 90s, he started with audio/ video works with different musicians. It was only in 2005 that Geist started video-mapping projects. He says, “In 2005, this art form was very young. I have been working worldwide and developing video-mapping projects, for instance, at the Cristo in Rio de Janeiro, the Azadi Tower in Tehran, the King Palace in Bangkok, at the Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.”
This is the second time that Geist is visiting India. His first visit to New Delhi in 2011, he says, left a lasting impression on his mind.
He remembers, “I was there for a location check for a video project and visited different places. It was an impressive journey, especially the Lotus Temple, was wonderful. I felt that it would be a wonderful place for an art project.”