The Gods Must be Crazy 2.0 « HGB Gallery

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival 2013

The Gods Must be Crazy 2.0

Beast of Burden

Exhibitor/Photographer: H.G. Bathija

Exhibition dates: May 1 – 31, 2013, Mon-Sat 11am-8pm

Opening Reception: April 25, 8:30-11pm

Venue: HGB Gallery @ Spadina Auto, 111 Strachan Avenue, Toronto, ON M6J 2S7

Sponsored by: Spadina Auto, Aden Camera, Polka Dot Beaver, Rayacom Print & Design-Toronto, Sushi 930, The Village Cheesemonger, Mirus Wines & Spirits

Exhibition Description:

“Whilst visiting my relations in Penang, Malaysia in February 2009 for Chinese New Year, it was highly recommended that I stay back after the New Year to attend Thaipussam at Waterfall Temple. At this time, I had no inkling of what I was about to be exposed to. On February 09 that year, I found myself in the middle of an ancient Tamil religious tribal tradition that requires Kavadis, devoted ones, to take a vow to offer a physical burden to request Lord Murugan to give succor. The scenes I witnessed were one of painful physical sacrifice, not by tribal folks, but by modern individuals, not only of Tamil heritage but also of Chinese and other heritage. A communal and primal experience was happening around me in the 21st century that cannot be fathomed from a purely rational/linear perspective, at least at a surface level. It struck me in the middle of all this that as Europe rose, as the New World was discovered, and as ancient civilizations such as India and China returned to the world, ancient practices continued, unabated and co-exist side-by-side with what we label progress.

This photography exhibition seeks to bring to the viewer a sense of the communal and to explore the wonder of sacrifice without judgment and reservation, bringing to the surface rumblings of ancient practices, and explore emotions and longings that continue to be relevant in our hyper-rational and inter-connected digital epoch. The exhibition will take place amidst the daily operations of an auto garage so as to juxtapose the rites of the ancient and practices of the modern within a contemporary yet mundane and mechanical setting.” ~HGB


Puts it well. His image represents, with the modern technology of the camera, a transfer to the viewer of an archetype, a mythic motif in these people’s lives. We have become so rational (left-brain dominant) that we are forever vainly trying to cleanse or subsume these primal energies in our society. We are encouraged to worship economic growth at all costs and pipelines as panaceas for all our ills. We seek our satiation in private as good WASPs always have among our family and our peers. Extravagant public display is always in bad taste. So H.G. has gone far away and in some sense backward in time to witness this intense and probably transcendent personal experience. ~ Jamie Laidlaw

  • Milkrun
  • Ties that Bind
  • Sacrifice
  • Passing Time
  • Parasols
  • Murugan
  • Makeway
  • Gods Chariot
  • Kid In Charge
  • Ganesha
  • Devotion
  • Cocobath
  • Beast of Burden
  • All Dressed Up
  • Ablution

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