‘Not so clean’ side of Pune’s Mutha river through Deutsche lens
The ongoing project Riverine Zones, which began in 2006, is binding 30 international rivers and showcasing the slow death of some of them. Pune’s Mutha river tops the list of being the most polluted.pune Updated: Oct 15, 2017 23:49 IST
German artist Philipp Geist brings his skills of using a range of media – video installation, audio visual and photography, to give the rivers a chance to breathe again. Water and time are constant in his work.
Geist’s ongoing project Riverine Zones, which began in 2006, is binding 30 international rivers and showcasing the slow death of some of them. Pune’s Mutha river tops the list of being the most polluted. “I felt sad when I first stood on the banks of the Mutha river and looked at the vast expanse of floating debris. This is the first time that I wore gloves to film close ups and the depths of the river,” said Geist.
The project is a room-sized video-installation called Riverine Zones which takes the viewer on a discovery through international rivers. Using an underwater camera he explores the various parts of the river: its surface, the riverbed and the deep and shallow waters. With a view from the water, he also includes the riverside or riverine, which lends its name to the project.
“We grow up with rivers being part of our lives and we see them every day. We have an idea of what they look like beneath the surface but who knows what really happens in their depths when no one is collecting data or recording documentaries. Riverine does not focus on photorealist imagery or on capturing nature in real time; it only follows a partly documentary approach,” said Geist.
“I shot from three or four locations along Mutha river, where I stood by the riverside or on a bridge and guided the underwater camera down a long rope into the depths of the murky water. I let the camera float with the river’s currents,” he added.
Used in this way, the camera will shoot stones and debris and floating particles. The camera takes us into an underwater world that is created by the camera itself. Geist said that he wanted to show how humans handle the precious water resources in different regions of the world.
“We hear of the environmental issues and the impact of pollution, but when you show it as an installation, it helps put the message across. This is my small contribution in creating awareness,” Said Geist.
The installation and exhibition will be on till October 31 at Max Mueller Bhavan, Boat Club road.