Ankit makes fragmented narratives with found objects, drawings, photographs, videos and immersive spaces that highlight states of vulnerability and makes corporal connects with his surroundings. Often starting with a personal memory, his works are tactile and performative aiming to understand alienation, fragility, numbness, and conflict. Driven by the process of crafting, he celebrates the ephemeral while borrowing from the acts of weaving and surgery.
The installation Pyromania, in Ankit’s words “attempts to generate a fire whose warmth cannot be sensed. It layers past-experiences and imagery of the surrounding landscapes (fields of Dadri that get burnt during winters) to conjure a parallel narrative that intersects with a ritualistically arranged space. This space borrows from the Vedic cremation rites, wherein fires play a pivotal role. Confrontation of fire becomes a starting point of an enquiry into amnesia, along with the urge to transform, and hence transcend. Addressing a conflicted state of being manifests as a way of conversing with an absent body: a being that is to be formed, is burning, or has burnt. This co-transcendence, consumption of the self and an absence echoes through the ritualistic pyre and the process of combustion – fear, fascination and aspiration constitute a state of Pyromania.”
Connecting the two fires– that from the surrounding fields, to the memory of a crematory fire – Pyromania becomes an enquiry into the act of transforming, transcending, and piecing together a fragment of the self. Through the participation in the crematory a fragmented self is gathered through its surroundings. Rather than speaking about an end, the work tries to complicate the act of combustion, consumption, as a slowdown of looking at a fire– the videos, the quoted text, the found and appropriated objects, and the drawings titled Ephemera Studies, kindle a cold fire that evokes the sheer absence of warmth.
Camphor, Found Objects, flickering LED lights, drawings, video, text and site inspired fiction (Audio).
The viewer encountered a pungent smell of camphor and LED lights simulating a fire-like flicker on entering the space.
Ankit Ravani (born 1992), holds an M.F.A from Shiv Nadar University in 2018, B.V.A in Painting from Faculty of Fine Arts M. S. University, Baroda in 2016 and briefly studied Textile Design at Sir J.J school of arts, Mumbai in 2012. He exhibited in a number of group shows such as Call to Disorder, Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa in 2019, Corpus, Image, and Inextricability – Group show at Art Konsult, New Delhi in 2019, Perceiving Futility at Baroda, 2018, ‘Art- Poetry: Dialogues of Last Innocence’ in an interpretation by Tushar Joag at Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi, 2018, and CIMA in Kolkata, India, 2016. He was a participant at The Storytellers- a course exploring zines, comics and video by Foundation for Indian Contemporary Arts (FICA) and The Serendipity Arts Foundation, New Delhi, 2018. He has written and illustrated for Art1st. He was born and brought up in Mumbai, and currently lives and works in Bangalore.