Family Tree is an installation of film, video, photographs and sound by Shumona Goel. Set in an old Colaba apartment, the installation responds not only to the changing nature of Bombay but also to the proliferation of Indian art and associated institutions such as art galleries.
Family Tree is a different approach to film and film art. As an installation, Family Tree positions itself against the narrative expectations of film — it transcends the restrictions of drama, story or plot. Shumona is influenced by Western fine art traditions, but uses low-tech formats like slide projection and VHS to also critique modes of elitist filmmaking.
Family Tree is concerned with the interior experiences of a migrant and the politics of movement in modernity. It presents us with a broken, violent, unstable world.
Shumona’s work extends the category of Diaspora art and defies some of its definitive conceptions. She uses documentary material and amateur movies that speak to universal experiences of disorientation and the fragmentary nature of modern existence.
By using a private home in transition, Shumona resists art galleries to favour an exhibition space which is defiantly haphazard, because the piece is, at least in part, about the struggle of migrants to carve out a space for themselves.
Shumona was brought up in central Pennsylvania. She moved to India in 2000 and has since been making films that explore cinematic styles and forms. Her films are essentially personal statements or artistic expressions.