To cook slowly, on a slow flame, for a long time: sometimes that is a good way to be.
Amar Kanwar (b. 1964) is a New Delhi-based filmmaker and artist whose work has powerfully mined the potential of a slower, drifting method of moving image to forge a politically charged and engaged mode of gently expanded cinema. Kanwar’s critically acclaimed yet fiercely debated Such a Morning hovers on the border between magical realist allegory and slow cinema trance film with an almost Calvino-like fable of a renowned mathematician impulsively abandoninghis university post, without explanation, to hibernate in a train car abandoned deep in a lush forest. Studiously meditating on the darkness of his cabin as he carefully blocks out the stubborn sunlight, Kanwar’s obscure hero seeks an enigmatic form of solace, a passenger on a secret train of thought bound for an uncertain destination. The appearance, or apparition—of a woman indifferently guarding a house systematically dismantled by workers—offers a haunting bookend to the mathematician’s patient project, a form of deliberate waiting, or resistance, or surrender. Crafted with a cinematographic precision and remarkable attention to light and shadow, Such a Morning shimmers with fierce political allegory and obdurate mystery, inviting the viewer to sit and to wait, like the film’s characters, for an expected revelation. – Haden Guest
The evening before the screening, Amar Kanwar will be giving a free talk in the theater at 6pm.
Screening of Such a Morning, with introduction by Amar Kanwar and post-screening discussion and Q/A with audience. Friday 19 April 2019.
Haden Guest 0:01
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Haden Guest. I'm director of the Harvard Film Archive. I want to thank you all for being here tonight for screening of Such a Morning, by Amar Kanwar. Last night, Mr. Kanwar offered an insightful, ruminative presentation about his work for, under the auspice of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts Visiting Artists series, and he led us through some of the major concerns and subjects that have guided his filmmaking and art-making over the course of his remarkable career. He ended his talk with a series of profound questions, directed equally to us, at us, the audience, as at himself, the artist. Humbling questions that together underscored the role of doubt and uncertainty in his creative process. For while Amar Kanwar’s filmmaking has most often worked within the documentary mode, he has resisted many of the assumptions underlying documentary cinema, making his films always with a careful and often hard scrutiny of his own tools and position. Asking himself, for example, not just how to represent those crushed by poverty and injustice, but whether it is even possible to overcome the intense contradiction of bringing expensive cameras and equipment, whose, into places where their strange presence immediately makes clear the gulf between the filmmaker and his subject. Partic-, particularly enlightening was Mr. Kanwar’s questioning of the limits of both realism and poetry in representation. And I was struck by the kinds of poetic realism that animate so many of his films, such as a remarkable choreographed dance captured in A Season Outside, where soldiers leap and kick in hyper-violent rituals during the changing of the guard on the tense border between India and Pakistan. Or in A Night of Prophecy, where Kanwar gives voice to an extended and incantatory song of suffering, a poetic rendering of the obdurate oppression of the caste system. Tonight's film, Such a Morning, pushes to a further extreme Kanwar’s interest in poetry as a means to give shape and voice to the political. Entirely rejecting spoken word, the film instead embraces other modes of poetic language: written stanzas and letters composed by the enigmatic mathematician who is the film's, the central figure in the film, but also the lush poetic voices of the dense forest and the birds that have such an indelible presence in the film. Light and darkness are central subjects and concerns of Such a Morning, which centers upon two enigmatic figures, haunting presences and figures of resistance, who endure, and who find a kind of serenity and dignity by remaining true to their obscure convictions. While the figure of the mathematician turned hermit seems to be pulled into another field of inquiry, a categorical study of darkness, the woman locked in a wicker chair with an antique gun on her lap herself may be a shadow, a phantom, a ghost from another time. I saw this film first as an installation at the ambitious Documenta 14, and Such a Morning offered a kind of a place of calm, of, of really engulfing calm and I'm really excited to see it tonight, here in a theater, where I think it will offer a similar experience, yet different. And I'm excited to explore that difference, as well as many other topics in a conversation with Amar Kanwar, as well as Dan Byers, who's the Robinson Family Director of the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. I want to thank the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. This is a co-presentation with them, and especially Dan Byers, and of course Daisy Nam, who's the Assistant, the Associate Director of the CCVA. I also want to thank Lucien Castaing-Taylor, the Film Study Center, and the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies. And I also need to thank, for their support, the Film Study Center and the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Initiative, as well as the Asia Center here at Harvard. I'd like to ask everybody, please turn off any cell phones, any electronic devices that you have. And now, please join me in welcoming Amar Kanwar.
Amar Kanwar 4:48
Good evening, thank you for coming. There's not much that I want to say. This film was shot entirely in India, over a couple of years. For those of you who were here yesterday, maybe there are some similarities with the films that I showed. But it's also quite different from what I've been doing for quite some time. Maybe it's best to just get on with it and we'll speak later. Okay. Thank you.
Haden Guest 5:25
Please join me in welcoming back Amar Kanwar and Dan Byers.
Haden Guest 5:37
Well, thank you so much for this film, and I wanted to begin, if I might, Dan, just by…. Yesterday, or last night, I should say, you spoke about your struggle, if I can say, to understand the possibilities and limits of poetry as a means to represent the other, as a means to engage the political. And I was wondering if you could speak a bit about the decisions and doubts, if you will, that led you to this particular mode of, of poetry, this poetic allegory, if you will. Some have called it “magical realism,” this world that you evoke, in which the dream, the boundary between the dream, the dreaming and awake, and awakening is is, is blurred, in which darkness seems to offer kind of visions that are not, that are invisible in the light of day.
Amar Kanwar 6:53
There were several, several questions, several thoughts that kind of brewed over a period of time. If I were to just highlight a few of them. For quite some time, maybe three years or so, I've been feeling, looking around, whether it's in my own country or whether it's in your country or whether it's in other parts of the world. And, and I’ve been feeling the need to wonder as to that I didn't want to argue anymore. And I felt I had been talking and arguing for a long time. And perhaps, so had all of us. And I wondered what, what lay at the end of all arguments? What kind of conversation could begin when all arguments were done? With whom would such a conversation be? I also thought that perhaps it would be wise to presume that, like all blind spots, I may have one too. And if I have one, then I wouldn't know it. So, in order to proceed, in order to understand what was happening around me, and because a lot of it was not making sense, as is quite obvious. And if I were not aware of my own blind spot, then how could I be? I also wished and wondered, what would it be? What would, what would be a vision from a zone of complete non-vision? What would you see in the heart of darkness, when you see nothing? For now, that's enough.
Haden Guest 9:54
I mean, I could maybe just follow up to ask about the two figures, the figure of the mathematician, this measurer of the world who has withdrawn into, into this interior space, tis space of this, of this phantom train, if you will. And then the figure of the woman, who, this time watching it, I started to wonder if she wasn't a figment of his imagination?
Amar Kanwar 10:27
Uh, maybe that's fine, if, ah,
Haden Guest 10:31
Amar Kanwar 10:34
I mean, it was nec-, it, I think it's necessary, it's probably good that I don't lock it. And that there are probably many…. The moment you start asking who she is, and what does she mean, and what exactly happened, and when did it happen? And what time did it happen?
Haden Guest 11:00
Amar Kanwar 11:03
As soon as you start asking these questions, another set of questions start coming up, and, and I think that they, they are addressable. But they probably need to be addressed by, individually, by different people. Um…. Yeah, she could, Somebody could say that she is destroyed, somebody could say she's freed, completely. So, to some extent there is, there is my own interpretation. But I think it makes sense if we all brush it and take our own meaning out of it. So unless forced, I would leave it there.
Haden Guest 11:51
We're not going to force you. [LAUGHS]
Dan Byers 11:54
I want to actually maybe take a step back, and ask you about what conditions there were in the world, in your world, that suggested for you a shift from a kind of evidence-based documentary practice that you were involved in, to creating these images and these worlds.
Amar Kanwar 12:18
I mean, I, I, I don't, I don't think it's very difficult to, to conclude that what we perceived to be, is not necessarily that. If I look at political systems, if you look at any system, if you look at governments, if you look at families, if you look at your own immediate surroundings, how you thought things would evolve, are not necessarily the way they have. This leads to several questions. Not just about why it's happening, but why, um, maybe I did not see it coming, or maybe I was selective in my comprehension, or selective in my outrage, etc. In, in the context of, say the past work. At, at one level, yes, it seems quite different. But for me, internally, I feel like I'm pretty much doing exactly the same thing. And it's, um, I felt many things. I felt that the, I felt the need to step back, no doubt, and that itself was not easy to do. But I mean, you can't control the wind. So, when the wind changes, light changes. When light changes, darkness changes. When darkness changes, you begin to see multiple kinds of darkness. So, the inside of that space, actually, can become very much like nonfiction. So, in a way, I don't see myself transitioning. I'm essentially trying to find another way to respond. And, and I thought that, at one point, I felt that I was trying to find a hallucinatory way to respond, a metaphysical way to respond. A search for another terrain, in which I could react, and take, take us all in, in some sense. Into what I, I assumed from, from the beginning. Because it's not that I, I didn't script this. I didn't script this and then execute it. So, I didn't know how this was going to end, as well. And nobody who knew how it was going to end, as well. And, so, it's not that figured out. We, we took it as it came, to see what, where, where does this go? How do you, how, what do you do next? What do you see next? Where do you shape it, and so on. So.
Dan Byers 15:51
I was really struck by the, watching it again, by the kind of physicality of the structures that were, what they built for, for this. And I'm curious if you could talk a bit about the, the train, in particular, almost as sculpture, as environment, and some of the decisions that went into the furniture, and the structure, and how that came to be.
Amar Kanwar 16:16
I think, if anything, it was, the train was the scariest part for me. Because I decided to make it and not rent it, or not find another one, and so on. So, and I’ve never made a train before.
Haden Guest 16:37
Amar Kanwar 16:38
So, I didn't know, really, how to make it, and nor did the people who were making it knew how to make it. And so nobody really knew how to, how to make it, actually. And, so I had, I had some friends who worked on it, who realized that nobody knew how to make it, and so they began to advise us, as we went along. And, so. But we wanted it. I wanted it, the cinematographer wanted it. But I wanted a space that nobody owned, that I could live in it, I could be in it, and I, I was not counting anything. I was not counting time, I was not, I didn't need, I didn't want anything entrapping me. And they, and I wanted it to be exactly the where it, where it, where it should be, and so on. And so the only answer, really, was to build it. And that took quite a long while, and then to let it be, and then to live in it, and so on. So that's, I, I also felt, I mean I've, I'm sure everybody has, at some point or the other in their life. You know, you run into a teacher who, who just shifts things for you. Sometimes it could be when you're 10 years old or 18, whatever. So, and usually, these, these people are people who, for some reason or the other, refuse to kind of follow the line, when they're teaching. I mean, sometimes even being passionate means to not follow the line, but often they have done things that have shifted you. And, and I also wanted in some, in some way to, I mean, I'm not a sculptor, I don't make, but I wanted to make something that when, when it's, when the film is over [COUGHS] could be a memorial, in a sense, for, for quite a few teachers who have just picked me up and shifted me, even if I was indifferent at that point. And the, the house belongs to a good friend of mine. And this was her ancestral home, over 100 years old. And I didn't ask for it to be brought down. It was going to be, her, her, her old father wanted to bring it down and rebuild. And so, it's, it's, the train we built right near, about, maybe 50, 60 kilometers near where I live, in New Delhi. And the house is much, much further away. It's on, it's near the border of India and Myanmar, on the northeast part, on the top of a hill, actually. So.
Haden Guest 20:17
So when you say that you know you, this, it wasn't scripted, and you really, you had a sort of, there was an openness to this production, in which you didn't know what was going to happen next. And I was wondering if you could describe, so you were, how did that actually then unfold in terms of the production? You were basically spending time in the, in the train with your crew, and the actors, and, and really just allowing things to unfold? I mean, was there a sort of dialogue at the beginning of the day that would set things up? Or how would, how would, how would you actually...
Amar Kanwar 20:50
Oh. No, not, I think I knew what I was going to do on the day. But it's not like that. It's actually, probably, a little bit simpler, in the sense that I had wanted, I had been waiting for a long time to make a film. Which, uh, I have a lot of friends who work in fiction, and I've kind of experienced their trauma. And I wanted to make a film where I would, where I could do it in the way that I wanted to do it. Exactly. And where I was not worried about if nobody liked it. While I was making it. Throughout. And that’s not an easy position to be in. So, so I had been waiting for a long time to feel that, okay, now I'm, I think I can do it the way I want to do it, and it doesn't matter. So when I got ready to do that, I spoke to the cinematographer, Dilip Varma, who shot most of the film. And, I, and with whom I've worked with for many years. Several of the extracts you saw yesterday were also filmed by him. And, and, I, and I just asked him. I said, that uh, is it possible to make a long fiction, to start a long fiction film? But uh, like, can we, can we do a test. And, and then see, if it's worthwhile. So, so, I scripted a bit. I filmed a bit. I edited a bit. And everybody said, it looks like it, worthwhile. So then I wrote a bit more, and I filmed a bit more, and then everybody said, it looks alright. And then I wrote a bit more, and like that. And as far as, what's the old man going to do? And what is she going to do? Was not scripted. So, I would just decide as we went along, just the broad outline, and how we felt. So, I think it was difficult for the, for the crew, and to some extent for me, because I think they started wondering if I knew what I was doing.
Haden Guest 23:54
Amar Kanwar 23:55
But I think for the actors, they figured it out soon. And were fine. And it's not, you cannot, I, it's not, you can't script this end. You cannot script, I felt, you couldn't script the whole thing together. So it was very much about waiting to see what you yourself are doing. And waiting, and having enough time to, to let it, to kind of live and breathe a little bit, and see what it feels like. And then nudge it a little ahead, and nudge it a little ahead. That's, that's all.
Haden Guest 24:43
Dan Byers 24:44
Ah, okay. [LAUGHS] The one, one element that really seemed like a through line from the earlier work to this, is the the narration, the text, which plays, even more, a kind of emphatic role in this, in terms of its placement on the image, and also the tone. Could you speak a bit about your writing practice, and, and how those decisions were made for this film?
Amar Kanwar 25:10
Um, I mean, for a, for quite some years, I've been feeling like being quieter. And so, and I've also been feeling that a lot of what we think, we never say. And that I'm always, it's, it's always nicer to, to connect with what somebody is thinking, rather than what somebody's speaking. And so sometimes, I would work with narratives which would seamlessly shift between speaking into thinking. And you could just about, maybe, understand that it's now shifted into thinking, and then it would come back into speaking. And, and so on. And then I wanted to speak in a way that I was thinking. So, I kept pushing this a little further and further in every little moment that I got in previous films. And then it got too perfect. And too measured, and too correct, and too…. Which was also nice, and often is nice, when it's absolutely distilled and, and correct. So, when I began this film, I, I wanted to be easy, and out of that rigor, in a sense, and, and think casually. And, and there are many kind of, I mean, there was a lot of research that I did on structures of telling, structures of time, of narrative methods, over many decades, traditionally. And so there are, a lot of that helped me in structuring the, the way you move, within time, within characters, and so on. I mean, in a certain way, all, all time zones are valid. Everything is in the present, everything is in the future, everything is in the past. At any given point, you could interpret any, any time zone, for any moment. And for me, I was trying to see how, how can I get into that form? How could I write something that could get to me into that? And also, how could the author shift? How could it be me? How could it be him? How could it be her? Could it be all of the three? Could we shift between all three? Just like we can shift between past, present and future. And at times, it could be one present. And I also wanted to write a book. And I, and in some, in many ways, the narrative of the, of this film also continues after the film. So, it's like, it's almost like thoughts that become notes, that become texts, that become like a book, that become like a script, that become like a fable, like, become a narra-, voice, and so on, like that.
Dan Byers 28:53
Can you say specifically about what some of the afterlives are of this, this film?
Amar Kanwar 29:02
The professor continues to write. So, he writes his fifth letter, and his sixth letter, and a seventh letter. And so, while the film ends, the story continues. And the fifth and the sixth letters find another form to present themselves. In the way they are presented, in the physicality, in the, in the structure, in the way you look at it, and so on. And, I mean the, the fifth, sixth, and seventh letters could, could easily fill up this entire space, or even more physically. And by the time he gets to his seventh letter, he's clearly, the seventh letter is in the form of an invitation, of a coming together, in which he is, quite clearly, indicating what he thinks could be the 49 darknesses, or at least some of them. He also in-, begins to indicate what could be the possible methods of opening them up, and sharing them, and recording them, and figuring them out. And it's also becomes a kind of a proposition, or a call, for anybody who could help him, or join him in, in figuring what the 49 could be. And subsequently, those who, so the story continues till there as a narrative form. And those who feel that it's valid to respond seriously, or really, to the proposition, in the real world, respond. And when they respond, sometimes as an institution, or sometimes as a single individual, or sometimes as a group of individuals, we pick up a darkness and begin to research it. And then the process of research is, is physical, real research, which involves many people, many collaborations, many activities, and so it, it becomes a kind of a fairly larger social process for some. And so the story continues, like that.
Haden Guest 32:06
I wanted to talk a little bit about darkness in terms of cinema, and to ask about, I mean, a word that's often used to talk about cinema today is “immersivity,” this idea of being, creating this immersive experience of the darkness, of of, of, of light. And I was wondering, because it seems to me, to a certain extent, this professor's search isn't that different of a search from those who go regularly to the cinema, they seeing different modes of darkness, different revelations are given to them in, in the dark. And in asking this, too, I'm also thinking about the experience of seeing this work here, within the darkness of a theater, as opposed to within a gallery, a gallery space, and I was wondering if you could, I don't know, offer some thoughts about that distinct experience, of watching this work in a fixed seat, in, in a theater where, right, your vision is directed to, only towards the screen.
Amar Kanwar 33:24
I mean, honestly, I, I think I was quite fixated on not really knowing how to proceed. That was the only thing that I thought. I didn't know how to proceed, throughout. So, I didn't think how to show it. And once it was done, yes, of course, we started to figure out how to show it in a gallery space, or, in a, in a…. Usually, when I've done that, I’m often, end up preferring one form or the other. Or if I'm viewing it in one situation, it becomes unbearable, and in another it's fine. But this time, this evening, it wasn't too bad, actually.
Haden Guest 34:34
Amar Kanwar 34:36
So, it felt fine. Even over here. It's a totally different experience, seeing it in a gallery. Essentially, because you're at the same level with the projection. You're pretty much, you're at the same level as, as the angle, and the position of viewing is exactly at eye level of the professor. And in that sense, you are actually sitting in, in that train. And that makes quite a difference. So, I mean, it's not often that I feel fine in both situations, but I think it's, it's okay, I feel fine in both. The gallery does allow one thing that this does not allow, which is that apart from being face to face, and in proximity, and apart from the fact that if, if it's a large enough space, you can step out and go into the fifth and the sixth and the seventh letter, which is also quite a lot of fun. But, apart from all that, I feel what the gallery allows you to do, is you can come back and see it again. Or you can stay and see it again. And I mean, I first presented this film at Documenta 14, and, and that's like two-and-a-half days, hundred and forty artworks, two-and-a-half minutes per piece. Eighty-five minutes, nothing much happening. So it's a, it's, it's like asking for it. So in, in, in such a situation, to survive, and I think it's, it was quite interesting for me to see somebody seeing two cycles of, of the film. Meaning the moment it's over, they, they stay, and see the, see another one. And so, this is something that I've seen in a lot of spaces, where people see much longer, or come back tomorrow and see it again, or come back after three days and see it again. And I find that when that happens, the nature of response is very different.
Haden Guest 37:26
So were you actually, was, or were you, or was someone, in the case of Documenta, let's say, actually monitoring the type, the type of viewership that the film was engaging? I mean, I’m just...
Amar Kanwar 37:38
Um, no, I mean, Yeah, since I've like…okay. Not monitoring. But you see, what happens is if people keep coming to you and saying that, they are not getting out!
Haden Guest 37:54
Amar Kanwar 37:55
Oh, I saw, they're not getting out! And then you keep hearing people telling, because everybody expects people to see at that pace, over there. It's like you see, you figure, you move. And, and you’ve moved on. If you're a professional, you check it out again. So if, if they keep telling you that they're not getting out, then I thought I should take a look. And then I looked a few times, and I saw some people sitting, yeah. Subsequently, I've shown it in a lot more places after that, and there are many who get out, and there are many who hang, hang around and stay with it, as well. So, it's just that if you are comparing both situations, that gives you the option of staying, which I find quite valuable.
Haden Guest 38:52
I mean, of course, this was a, there was a 14-hour film by that same title in there. So, actually, yours seemed to be quite a reasonable length, compared.
Amar Kanwar 39:01
Dan Byers 39:03
And maybe to the list of darknesses of the cinema and the gallery, we can add the university.
Dan Byers 39:10
And it was poignant to watch it here, just thinking about, you sort of trained your lens on institutions like governments, and multinational corporations, and state actors, then all of a sudden culture seems to be an actor here, in a different way, both with university, but also this moment where the man is sort of regarding these cultural artifacts, and…. Could you speak a little bit about that?
Amar Kanwar 39:32
I mean, I think, I think it's, the game is up. I mean, it was up a long time ago. I think we were not ready to say that it was over. And so I think we might as well, like, reconceive, and reconfigure. And I think that's the only way, really. I’ve always found, I mean several years ago, I found that, actually, the heads of institutions, whether it was universities, or I mean we, in India we don't have very many art institutions, but the heads of art institutions in the West, like the supremo head that if you had a, like, if you had an evening with them, which was a little bit long, they had a pretty good idea that the game was up a long time ago. And I, I started feeling that at least 15 years ago. And from them, not, not from myself. But not specifically talking about art, but I think in, or even speaking In terms of universities, or even about politics, and the way we intervene, and the way we respond, and, and so on, I think, I'm not saying we don't have to fight, or we don't have to say what we have, what we feel strongly about. But I definitely feel that we need to reconfigure many, many positions, many systems, many understandings of what's happening, where we are, and how we are related to it in the past. We definitely have to, to, to probably get rid of the “us good people” situation. I think that would also help considerably. So.
Haden Guest 42:00
Let's take a few questions or comments from the audience, if there are any.
Haden Guest 42:08
Question right here in the front, Stefan.
Hi. There were quite a number of parallels with Ted Kaczynski. And I was wondering if that had, if that, I mean, no, seriously! A mathematician who left his job, and went and lived in the woods-
Haden Guest 42: 30
-and wrote, and sent letters in various forms, airplane flying overhead. So anyway, I was just wondering if there was any connection in your mind with that, although obviously, ideologically it's, you know, the content of what he wrote was different.
Amar Kanwar 42:45
No, I, I was not aware of him at all. I only got aware of him much after the film was over, when somebody said that it's, the, the point of view of, the, his point of view, which was very clearly...I mean, I think he reached a point when he felt it was necessary to blow up everybody. Because some of his writings did mention something like that. So somebody did send me some extracts of his writings, where he was indicating that it was necessary to, to physically blow up situations, in order to change the crap, and said that probably that's a better solution. So, that's the only way I got to know about him, yeah. But I mean, yeah, in, in many ways, I think if I have to look at, at, you know, without knowing him very well, I would say that the disintegration of the house is critical to, to comprehending how to move forward.
Haden Guest 44:25
Other questions or comments? See we have one right there at the back.
Hi. I just feel, watching the movie, it was interesting that you chose this recluse to be a mathematician. It feels like he could have had some other professions, although it would have resulted in a different movie. I was wondering what made you decide to choose that profession for him?
Amar Kanwar 44:53
Um, I think for maybe two reasons. One is that I think mathematicians, at least I, I, I, I feel so, I may be wrong, but I feel mathematicians are, are quite comfortable with a certain kind of abstraction. And that comfort allows them to look at the world differently. And I also feel that most people, mathematicians are mostly misunderstood by the rest of the world. And it's, for the rest of the world, the mathematician is like, it's, it's, it's hard to figure out what, what, what's a mathematician all about? What goes on, you know, who is this creature? And in, in some sense, he’s unapproachable, he’s, ah, he’s misunderstood, he’s…. And so, for both reasons, I just kind of impulsively went to, to him.
Haden Guest 46:14
Okay, let’s hear a question from right here in the front.
Um, I was wondering if you could say a little bit more about your process in relation to the tension in the film between withdrawal and this kind of emphasis on a ascetic life, versus reentry into society through the letters, and a kind of aim, even a hint, toward revolution, toward, toward, pushing towards social change. And I'm wondering how that relationship changed for you, as the film developed, since you didn't go in with a scripted approach in the first place.
Amar Kanwar 46:55
I mean, I think I'm personally always grappling with that. In the sense that I have been, in many ways, always responding, and active in something or the other. And I felt the need to step back. And, so, as in, even yesterday, we were talking about the same thing, that sometimes in order to understand something, you go into it, and if you go into it, you don't necessarily understand it. And that sometimes to get closer to something, you step back, and you get closer to it. And that these are quite easy to, to experiment with, and see. And so for me, in a certain way, stepping back was critical. And it's like when you get lost and then you find your way. So, finding your way is more interesting for me than getting lost. And then getting lost again, and then finding your way again, and then getting lost again. So, so this oscillation is, to be comfortable with that oscillation, is for me, I feel that's our state, and it's a nice state to be in, the moment you get comfortable with it. So, in that sense, it was, it is one in the same thing for me. To step back, and to come out, and to re-engage, because I'm quite sure that when you re-engage, you, you, you again lose track, in a little while. Also, darkness, for me, is not necessarily negative. Darkness, for me, allows us to get into a position of not knowing. It allows us to get into a position of reconceiving, re-beginning momentarily, and I was interested in getting into that position, and my intention of getting into that position was that once I am there, then I would have the, I would hopefully get the capability to begin again. And so as I went along, even scripting, and making, and so on, by the time I ended, I felt that I had something to say. However little it was, and, and, even if it meant that let's start again. And, um, and I checked it out. And when I checked it out, I found that there were a lot of people sitting quietly, waiting to start again. And so that gave me a little bit more impetus, in a way, to, to say it like that.
Haden Guest 50:25
Well, I think that's a wonderful place to end this conversation. And I want to thank you for your insight, for your generosity, for your films, and for being with us tonight, and last night. Please join me in thanking Amar Kanwar, as well as Dan Byers.
Amar Kanwar 50:47
Thank you for coming and thank you for inviting me here. Thank you.