Auspicious Sight is one of several definitions for the Sanskrit term “darshan” a ritual act of connection with a Hindu deity through an intense meeting of eyes. Darshan is part of a morning and evening Aarti ceremony held at dawn and dusk in Hindu temples where the deity is worshiped with candles, flowers and incense, which follows a loud and sustained clanging of bells.
Auspicious Sight was inspired by an evening Aarti that I came upon unexpectedly one evening in Varanasi in a small alley behind a guest-house where I was staying.
I was suddenly seized by a sustained cacophonous sound of rhythmic banging of bells and cymbals. As I listened my attention became heightened, I became aware of bits of ephemera blowing in the gentle breeze, the humbleness of which seemed in contrast to the all encompassing nature of this sound. I filmed within the circumference of sound over the course of the next several days from morning to evening, documenting also the sudden shift from winter to summer as a steady breeze succumbs to increasing heat, airlessness and inertia. I worked to coordinate the subtle movement of these ordinary objects in rhythm to the music and sound. As a sense of narrative evolves, an image of a green plastic bag caught in electrical wires recurs, fighting for escape and then finally succumbing to either resignation or release.