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Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher
84 Huts (Beatles Ashram-Rishikesh, India) 30"x40" large format photograph (ed.5)

$4,000

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30"x40" limited edition of 5 signed by the artists on reverse (available unframed - please inquire about framing options). This photograph is taken with a large format camera, capturing immense detail in the verdant green landscape and what remains of The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram's stone huts which have been overtaken by the jungle. These meditation huts are located north of the Indian city of Rishikesh- this is the site of the Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia. The collaborative artist team of Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher worked on this project, "The Searchers" and captured this stunning photograph prior to the location being reopened to the public. The Searchers is a series of large-scale photographs examining Western spiritual tourism in India. Bezzubov and Sucher investigate the magnetic pull of India’s rich religious history and the utopian communities that cater to Western seekers. While exploring yoga centers, meditation retreats and ashrams, the artists straddle the line between observers and participants. The project results in distinct groupings: spatially astounding interiors, bizarre landscapes, and portraits of those who simultaneously appear both lost and found. The connecting thread is the visual strangeness and cultural collisions inherent in this phenomenon. This series includes photographs taken at the Osho Meditation Resort in Pune and the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram in Nayyar Dam, Kerala. With The Searchers, the artists build on themes explored in their previous bodies of work, specifically Expats and Natives (Bezzubov and Sucher) and The Gringo Project (Bezzubov). These previous projects center around young Western travelers exploring developing countries and how the relationship to one’s host country relates to larger issues of race, class, and identity. New York-based Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher have been collaborating since 2002. In 2006, they spent a year in India on a Fulbright Scholarship Award for their project, The Searchers. Their work has previously been exhibited in Miami, Los Angeles, New York, The Netherlands. Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia, is an ashram close to the north Indian city of Rishikesh in the state of Uttarakhand. It is located on the eastern bank of the Ganges river, opposite the Muni Ki Reti area of Rishikesh, in the foothills of the Himalayas. During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training centre for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. The ashram gained international attention between February and April 1968 when the English rock band the Beatles studied meditation there, along with celebrities such as Donovan, Mia Farrow and Mike Love. It was the setting for the band's most productive period as songwriters, where they composed most of the songs for their self-titled double album, also known as the "White Album". The site was abandoned in the 1990s and reverted to the local forestry department in 2003, after which it became a popular visiting place for fans of the Beatles. Although derelict and overrun by jungle, the site was officially opened to the public in December 2015. It has since become known as Beatles Ashram and held an exhibition in February 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in Rishikesh. Many of Sasha Bezzubov's thoughtful series have featured ruins: "Things Fall Apart," a series of photographs of destruction caused by natural disasters in India, the US, Indonesia and Thailand; "Facts on the Ground" (in collaboration with Jessica Sucher) which documents recent ruins throughout Israel and Palestine. For this exhibition Sasha Bezzubov and Jessica Sucher are showing 3 photos taken in India at the Ashram where the Beatles stayed and wrote many famous songs.

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