Indian artist Sahej Rahal has created his first video game Upon Your Bones This Temple, a third person exploration game that uses devotional music as soundtrack available for free for both Mac and PC. Distributed as a series of episodes, the game is an investigation of the notion of belief and faith in the 21st century. In 2011, the Mumbai-born, Delhi-based Rahal graduated from the Rachana Sansad Academy of Fine Art in Mumbai and is is considered one of India’s most innovative young artists. At LiveMint, Bhanuj Kappal provides an in-depth explanation of the imagery of Upon Your Bones:
The objects that populate Upon Your Bones This Temple are 3D scans of sculptures from his earlier exhibitions, as well as works from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and the Bhau Daji Lad Museum. These are recontextualized by the virtual reality they’re placed in, stripped of their historicity and made to perform new roles as the artefacts of an emergent fictional mythology. The game is meant to mirror the way truth and untruth are being juxtaposed and weaponized to create new contemporary myths, whether it’s the cult of alt-right shamans like Milo Yiannopoulos and Jordan Peterson, or assertions about “Vedic science”.
In that sense, the video game is only the latest instalment in what can be described as a large, interdisciplinary project of world-building that Rahal has been engaged in since 2010. Using performance art, sculpture and video work, he has crafted a constantly evolving narrative that draws influence from sources as disparate as Indian and Western mythology, anime, science fiction, pop culture and the city of Mumbai. History, religious traditions and exotic futures collide in this narrative, which is populated by “absurd beings” from a fictional civilization, and the tools and artefacts they have left behind.
LINK: Sahej Rahal