Full HD video | 16:9 | 8.46 min. | color | sound

“What you see is what you see.” The famous quote from Frank Stella hovers in the room like a mantra when Kay Walkowiak seeks out sadhus at the Kumbh Mela in India to give them minimalist painted objects and ask for their interpretation in Making Sense Out of Abstraction. As sannyasins or yogis, sadhus have renounced worldly life, live free of possessions, and their only pursuit is the search for liberation, freedom from karma and reincarnation through unification with the highest reality. At the Kumbh Mela, the largest religious festival in Hinduism and the world, which symbolizes the constant pursuit of knowledge and understanding, sadhus come together from the most remote parts of India and can be consulted on issues of “earthly life” at this time. In seven short episodes the film shows the ascetics’ different reactions to the minimalist works that are contextualized and laden with individual meaning when received. 

Concept / Camera / Edited: Kay Walkowiak
Postproduction: Manuel Hartmann
Production Assistant: Navneet Raman
Translations: Vimal Mehra, Ajay Pandey
Special Thanks: Austrian Cultural Forum New Delhi, Kriti Gallery Varanasi
Supported by: Salzburger Kunstverein, Federal State of Salzburg