‘Since I can’t do real science, I fake it with art’

WHO: Bengaluru-based Hazra graduated from the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. As an artist and an occasional writer, his work often uses performance, text-fragments and the idea of the ‘thought experiment’. Hazra has exhibited at MAXXI Museum, Rome, Galleryske, Bengaluru, Experiment Marathon, Reykjavik, Thomas Erben Gallery, New York among others.

Abhishek Hazra
Abhishek Hazra, 34, Artist, Photo: Ankit Kumar

What is the one incident that changed or formed your artistic vision?
Trying hard to hear the colour of transition metal ions by shaking a partially filled tin of puffed rice and wasabi electrons.
What is the one feeling you’ve never been able to translate into art but wish you could?
My amnesia and my impending senility.
What would be the magnum opus that you’ve never created?
I am just a precarious tradesman of ginger — what do I know of ocean liners? I’m paraphrasing an old Bengali proverb here. Also, a magnum opus is nothing but a gilded prison house.
Who is your biggest influence and/or mentor?
PK Ghosh of Eastend Printers — printer, scholar and connoisseur of typography. DD Kosambi — the great navigator of large spectral bandwidths. And the mathematician Georg Cantor for pursuing through his Infinity Project even though he had dust allergy.
Two fundamental values you wouldn’t give up for anything?
An absolute faith in my own incompetence and an abhorrence of ‘accessible’ communication.
 A detail from the Travel series by Abhishek Hazra
The mad Scientist: A detail from the Travel series by Abhishek Hazra, Photo: Courtesy Galleryske

Why or how did you decide to fuse science and art?
Since I can’t do real science, I fake it with art.
Do you have dreams in digital?
Even after keeping an oscilloscope next to my bed, my dreams turn out so terribly boring that it puts me to sleep.
What stimulates you artistically?
I have no capital, but I have interests. And art allows me to explore them for free.
Are you politically involved with your art?
Saying that everything is political would be banal. But I have always been fascinated by the various prefixes of ‘lysis’ — ana, para, dia, cata.
Aradhna Wal is a Trainee, Features with Tehelka.