Premiered in early February at the Dhaka Art Summit 2020, ‘Fog Dog’ is the artist’s first foray into cinematic storytelling. It takes as point of departure the curious interaction of human and non-human inhabitants of the Institute of Fine Arts of Dhaka, documenting the daily life of the school and the numerous stray dogs that live there and seem to lead a parallel existence.
Designed by architect and pioneer of Bangladeshi modernism Muzharul Islam (1923-2012) and characterized by an open structure—open colonnades, free-standing staircases, ceramic jalousies, and wooden screens allow for an interweaving of interior and exterior—the building is both stage and protagonist of the film. Boundaries between inside and outside, building and surrounding gardens, institutional and public spaces seem fluid. The ambient noises of the tropical landscape and the urban environment mingle, creating a richly evocative sonic landscape.
Drawing on the inextricable entanglement of traces of the past and prospects of the future in today’s realities, conversations about the lasting consequences of the colonial past and a TV report on the effects of climate change are woven into the daily lives we encounter, as the film settles in on the routine of the school’s nightwatchman. During the night the building is visited by a ghostly presence—a phantom that will not seem out of place and continues to haunt its guardian even after daybreak.