Remedies is a series of multi-channel video installations inspired by the pharmaceutical factory run by Saraf’s family in India. Modern medicine is commonly the product of an industrialized, largely mechanical process, yet it is intimate and creates private, bodily experiences. Having grown up with this factory and its workers, Saraf sees medicine manufacturing through a personal lens. Drawing parallels between medicine and meditation as a healing experience, Saraf explores the relationship between the repetitive movements of the factory workers and the mechanical loops of the machines. These videos are a rumination on movement as well as a meditative experience in and of themselves.
The three part series is based on different forms of medicines manufactured at the facility: tablets, capsules and syrups. The distinct processes and movements act as a score for choreographed interpretation and timing. Transformations – of solids into liquids, disjoint chemicals into a cohesive compound – are at the heart of this process.
Each series includes a large central video projection and two video box sculptures. The central video features 10-12 performers in long panoramic shots. The ambulatory pace of the camera and the lights captures this mechanical flow, and combined with the slow-changing human and mechanical repetitions, the dissolving patterns lend the video a surreal, rapturous quality.
The two video boxes that accompany each central video are made of four LED flat screen displays mounted on a pedestal to form a cube. A single continuous video moves along the four screens, presenting close-up, abstracted footage from the manufacturing of each type of medicine. The video boxes provide context for the central video and a four-channel sound composition made from field recordings from the factory unifies the installation.
Director: Surabhi Saraf
Choreography: Christy Funsch & Surabhi Saraf
Director of Photography: Yoni Goldstein
Editing: Surabhi Saraf & Jeremiah Barber
Sound Recording: Siddharth Saraf
Sound Editing & Composition: Surabhi Saraf, Shane Myrbeck & Emily Shisko
Lighting Designer: Philip Matarrese
Dolly grip: Hart Perez & Devon Perez
Production Assistant: Jonathan, Sebastian Alvarez, Diwaker Gupta
Video Box design: Dana Hemenway
Video Box production: Conrad Meyers
Custom Hardware & Software: Diwaker Gupta
Erin Mei-Ling Stuart
Emeline Le Thiec
Special thanks to all the workers at Wilcure Remedies.