Unruly Iris of Dissent (U.I.D 2), Swamp & Marsh
Projection of Video Loop, Variable Dimensions and, Prints (1 x 1 m)
Exhibited at Art Heritage Gallery, New Delhi (2023)

12 years after The Unlikely Intimacy of Digits (2011), which animated a nineteenth century Bengali peasant’s handprint found in a London archive into a spectral count towards infinity, Raqs return to bodily scans as arguments with surveillance. Now, in 2023, The Unruly Iris of Dissent, magnifies a restless iris to continue its debate with the U.I.D (Unique Identification Database) that lies at the heart of the ‘Aadhar’ system that aims to turn every person resident in India into a number. The Unruly Iris of Dissent magnifies an iris scan (from one eye amongst the three pairs of their own eyes) into an immersive and restless digital projection that looks eye-to-eye with the power that wants to look a little too closely at human bodies. Swamp (The Eye as a Water Body) and Marsh (The Eye as another Water Body) are two spare, square digital prints (1 m x 1 m ) that continue this fluid argument on paper.

In every sum figured by power, a remainder haunts the calculation. Not everything adds up. A people are never equal to a listing, or count, of their bodies. They are something more and something less than a population.