USER MANUAL FOR HOLDING CANDLES
The power of a burning candle has always been considered as an auspicious event, whether it is lighting in front of a religious idol or being used as a weapon to protest. It has also been an ancient practice in both conventional and in esoteric spiritual practice. Everyone who lights a candle has an intention in mind to heal a loved one or manifest a blessing; a candle becomes the externalised fire that represents the inner flame of our immutable spirit.
In the User Manual for Holding Candles Abhishek Narayan Verma tried to create a situation by breaking the notion of an ideal candle and its usage (especially during protests) with a pinch of humour and absurdity. By violating the shape and form of the candle he tried to create the discomfort of holding it, as well as to keep reminding about the purpose of it. In this series of work, Abhishek created a hypothetical statement. Usually the candles which we use are colourful or white but what if ...? these candles become black and the concept of an ideal candle changes. The flames turn black which will reflect the guilt of the person who is holding it, the brighter the flame glows, the more genuine the person is. Taking reference from a particular Flemish myth - in ancient times the glow of diamond was taken under consideration to find the one who is guilty. The predators were supposed to be taken in front of the diamond and if the diamond’s glow turned pale then the person was found guilty, and if the diamond shined brighter it denoted the person’s intelligence and purity.