From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf

Artist: CAMP
video | 83:00 | 2013

Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran of CAMP pursue their ongoing interest in infrastructure and circulation in this project of collective documentation. Merchant sailors from the Gulf of Kutch in India travel across the Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf and beyond, transporting all manner of goods. Working with footage collected over a four-year period, Anand and Sukumaran weave together their own HD video with images made by the sailors using mobile phone cameras and camcorders. These heterogeneous textures – from crisp clarity to painterly pixelation – combine with Bollywood and religious songs chosen by the sailors to form a compilation film displaying at once a palpable intimacy and a grand scope. CAMP’s directorial agency is largely withdrawn from the moment of image capture, asserted instead in the creative act of montage. But in so doing, this “film based on actual events and videos of actual events” poses the question of what it means to make an image at its very core. Like Qiao, From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf offers a striking reminder that though our global system is so often described as “cognitive capitalism” – trafficking in information and fuelled by immaterial labor – it still rests on the physical work of real bodies, fabricating and transporting real goods.


The 10th Shanghai Biennale - Social Factory | 2014.11.23 - 2015.03.31 | Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum(Shanghai, China)