Before the sun installation by Karthik Pandian
The first things I noticed about the installation were that it was dark, and 2 films were being projected in the corners of the room. A four-sided block made of mud or packed earth was in the middle of the room and loud noises that sounded like dogs barking played in the background. 2 glass boxes standing up out of the mud block,that it took me a minute to realize were projecting the films. The films made me think of being tired first because I was in the dark and 2nd because the people in the film all looked tired, they seemed to be dragging as they walked. The room was dirty, I could feel the dirt under my feet, and the whole room smelled like dust.
I would not have made the connection with mounds or ancient architecture without being told. I learned that the mud block or plaza was supposed to represent the Cahokia Mounds in St.Louis IL, built by Native Americans. I was interested to find out that the installation was lined up with the path of the sun, just like the largest of the Cahokia mounds, and that we were seeing films of a sunrise and sunset. Perhaps that’s why I thought of being tired or going to sleep.