The Vimana Kiranaavarta Observatory

Audio portion featured in Syma Tariq's project: A Thousand Channels - Asymmetrical Islands:

Colomboscope, Shadow Scenes, Sri Lanka, 2015, Curated by Natasha Ginwala and Menika van del Poorten

The Vimana Kiranaavarta Observatory refers to Edgar Allan Poe’s “A Descent Into the Maelstrom” 1841 and R.L Brohier’s “The Changing Face of Colombo”, and a host of historical, botanical and geographical information surrounding the contentious and rich history surrounding Colombo's Komapana Veediya neighborhood. It also refers to the “Vimana Shastra", a text written in the early 20th century by Maharshi Bharadwaaja, that claims to reveal the engineering behind the mystical flying machines of Southern Asia called Vimanas.

Text: Pedro Gómez-Egaña with excerpts from the Vymaanika Shaastra by Subbaraya Shastry and A Descent into the Maelström by Edgar Allan Poe
Research Advisor: Deborah Philip
Technical Assistance: Lakruwan mallawaarchchi
Dramaturgical Advisor: Bojana Bauer
Development Advisor: Anne-Cécile Sibué-Birkeland


At the top, the crowning art event, so to speak, was sitting in a chair and putting on headphones and listening to Colombian artist Pedro Gomez-Egana intoning a prose poem about descending on the country in a mythical flying machine and taking in the view – a fantasia of real and imagined landscapes.

From review at The Sunday Times by Stephen Prins

WIth the support of the Goethe Institut - Sri Lanka and the Bergen Academy of Art and Design


Email for more information or a portfolio