Based in New Delhi, Ravi Agarwal is a multidisciplinary artist driven by an unwavering focus on the impact urbanization has had on India’s riverine landscape and on its ways of life. In 2007, Agarwal created a series of installations and photographs calling attention to the disastrous consequences of construction along the Yamuna River. In a related text titled Have You Seen the Flowers on the River? he wrote:
The sandy banks are being impaled by steel and pounded by massive mechanical hammers. Water needs no violence. It quietly accommodates and flows around—when it is allowed to. The concrete will make it impossible for the water to sink into the ground, or to bring fertile soil onto its banks.
The river yields its land to the concrete. It will wait till this too has passed. As mountains have become valleys and deserts turned into marshes, what then of mere manmade metal? Or of man. Or is it different this time? Is it the final battle—of man and nature?
Ravi Agarwal (b. 1958, India)
Inkjet print on paper
Gift of Drs. Umesh and Sunanda Gaur, © Ravi Agarwal