Ganapati/A Spirit in the Bush

1986, 45 min, b&w and color, sound

Integrating the impassioned stance of his Vietnam tapes with the poetic strategies of his later work, this elegy to subjugated and slaughtered elephants earns its polemical stance by force of compelling subject matter. Powered by the poetry of Lorca, Rilke and Kipling, Reeves' procession of charged images involves and implicates the viewer through its silently scrolling texts — the viewer's inner voice becomes the narrator, assuming the voices of protagonist, poet and predator. Combining location shoots in India, Kenya and Thailand with disturbing archival footage, Reeves makes the connection between denial of human mortality and cruelty to other creatures unmistakably clear. Reeves writes that this work is "a song of mourning, praise and compassion for the sentient creatures with whom we share this planet. Focusing on the myth, history and natural life of the elephant and its relationship to man, the tape explores the gulf which we have created between ourselves and animals by the devaluation and calculated exploitation of other forms of life."

Creator/Producer/Editor: Daniel Reeves. Additional Videography: Bob Shea, Mark Brady. Executive Producer: Kathy Rae Huffman. CMX Editors/Digital Effects: Tom Crawford, Kathy High, Rick Feist. A Shakti production in association with the Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund, a project of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and the WGBH New Television Workshop.

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