With Shadowboxing Shahid Datawala finds himself delving into the pith of Bombay’s
schizophrenic architectural agglomerations. In this suite, he binds the unrehearsed
melancholy of modern ruins with the girth of the much-accessorised,
nouveau riche building projects. With this juxtaposition he decidedly
sidesteps the clutches of impecunious nostalgia and barrels straight into the terrain
The term hauntology was first encountered in Jacques Derrida’s Specters of Marx:
The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning & the New International (1993). Since,
it has been contacted variously, and like any well-mannered noun it has allowed
itself to be subsumed in numerous proceedings. Hauntology implies a certain
redoubtable spectral presence, which preserves its incompleteness as something that
can be returned to and/or reclaimed.
Datawala treats the phantom-like presence of these recent ruins or architectural
debris as a hauntological proposition that is steadying its jab in the sweltery wings and waiting to be recalled.