Fictionalizing encounters: Hadi Uddin's mysterium
With the series Longing, Hadi Uddin's lens has become obsessively focused on what is microcosmic. Veering away from his former projects wherein he appeared as a nomad recording the relationships between people, places and animals in temporary communities on the fringes of society, Longing brings in a near-forensic attitude towards the object of interest, splintering the reality he encounters and making the fragments spin off into many directions.
In this hitherto unpublished series, his engagement at a microcosmic level is played out in the language of minimalism – the viewers attention is drawn at once to the object and away from it. This polarity of intention is a way for him to bring into his oeuvre a sense of the alter-reality, thereby inscribing his pictorial narrative with a sense of detachment. This sense of detachment is needed to make his works lose their temporal dimension in order to lay bare the abstract qualities inherent in them. What is obvious is the refusal to employ the objectifying gaze usually at work in the documentary genre, in which the lens serves as a rational tool to organize visual data into easily digestible/recognizable narratives. Consequently, Hadi sets his stage for an 'othered' position so as to denaturalize his visuals. The details in each piece mostly appear to have re-emphasized certain contours and textures to the effect that the monochromatic techne works as a filter – it actually pushes the images over to the horizon of the metaphorical, rendering them more significant as well as appealing to the human eye.
Hadi embarked on the current series back in 2012 and worked through the new-found method till 2016. The result is 'an extended excursion into everything volatile,' to use his own words. Without ever exoticizing the given objects, Hadi created a mysterium where he simultaneously invokes the erotic, the entomological and the primordial. In the final analysis, this series is a retelling of what he himself calls 'a narrative to investigate one's identity,' which he continually refurbishes by means of responding to the objects at hands.