Sarnath Banerjee, Dark Tabassum, From the series ‘Spectral Times’, 2018.
Sarnath Banerjee, the acclaimed graphic novelist, responds to Mumbai and the Museum’s historic collection with a trove of stories that allude to or are directly inspired by the Museum. Narrated in the form of a magazine interview with the intrepid reporter, Birjis Bari who works with The Spectral Times, the uncanny stories reveal the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Sarnath works form both a visual and literary urban archive and respond to the Museum as archive and a repository of memories. Like most forms of story telling the Museum is a place of enchantment, where the unreal becomes real. In deploying both sound and visuals, Sarnath creates different registers of reference and meaning. He encourages you to stop and listen, to question appearances. In creating urban legends that are at a slight tangent to reality he encourages us to reflect upon our lives and those of others with tongue firmly in his cheek.