Seetharam Venkata Vallabhaneni

"A Ritual of Care: A Brick and Bouquet as Embodiments of Affection"

Section MS10, Matthew Darmour-Paul

Keywords: ritual, memory, archival practice, photography



Derived from the Latin word affectio based on affectus meaning ā€œto affect or influenceā€œ, which is in turn is based on the root word facere meaning ā€œdo, makeā€.

It is the ability to observe and to identify with anotherā€™s situation or condition and to then care for it and protect it, in the hope to provide it with what it needs to be itself

My interest lies in exploring the set of rituals governing two objects I have been engaging with recently - first being locally made brick as I have been working on the renovation of my family home and the second a bouquet made of metabolic materials for the festival of Bathukamma. Two items from completely different aspects of life are in my opinion approached and handled with similar gestures. Both involve the foraging of locally available materials, engaging local communities in their production processes and the materials have to be assembled by hand. Brick stacks on the road from different construction sites I see when I drive, brick kilns in close proximity to my house, and bouquets made by different families for their Bathukamma celebrations make up the raw materials I will be working with as I look to document the different forms these two objects take on as they are being affected by external forces (in my case a human hand). Additionally looking at the materials or ingredients that these objects are made of - the bouquet made of flowers immersed into the water to sustain it, to the brick which is made up of this water, earth and all the nutrients they contain which then becomes a part of a home where the bouquet is first made. I want to investigate and understand the ecosystems - both natural and social that these objects exist within.