Madhusree Dutta – Cinema City Lived - A dossier of spaces, materials and residuals
(an excerpt from Cinema City: a Research Art and Archive Project, conceived and curated by Madhusree Dutta)
Chiranjilal started around 1970 by collecting discarded B/W film reels from the labs, editing rooms, and the distributors’ godowns. He burnt heaps of discarded B/W film reels to create a silver-rich ash and then painstakingly separated pinches of silver from the ash. Later, in the era of colour prints on acetate base stock he moulded the celluloids into plastic bangles. In the ‘90s came polyester base stock for film printing. The polyester, known for its durability and toughness, could not be converted/melted/recycled into some other materiality - barring one; they could be cut into strips.
The strips were used as stiffeners for the back of the collars of the shirts on display.
The wastes from this exercise too are recycled – like a small strip of celluloid as a rope to tie the bamboo poles together.