Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri Di- The Biennale Song Sung by JohnyML

(Sing as if you were singing Kolaveri in Karoke)

Yo boys I am sing song

Soup Song....... Bose song....

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Rhythm correct...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Maintain please

Why this biennale .......... aaa di...

Distance –la durbar hall-u hall-u colour-u white

Five crore-u background white-u white-u ...changed into black-u

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

White skin-u art-u art-u ..Bose want black –u

Vice vice meet-u- meet-u ...artists’ future-u dark-u...
Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Mama...currency notes eduthuko...appadi kaiyile snacks eduthuko

Kokoko kom..ko ko ko kom..ko koko ko koko kom....

Sariyaa vaasi.....


Super mama...ready ready oneee twooo three......four

Whaa..what a change over mama...

Okay mama now tune change...u

Kaiyila brush......

Only English.aa.

Handla bursh...stretcher-la canvas ...eyes fullaa tear-u

Empty life..u... Bose-u come-u , life-u reverse gear-u...

Bose-u Bose-u oh my bose-u I make you go bow-u
Cow-u cow-u Holy cow-u ...I want you hear now-u

God artists dying now-u Bose happy how-u

This-u song-u for soup-artists-u

They don’t have choice...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Hannh cku nakuna..

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this biennale biennale biennale di...

Why this kolaveri Kolaveri Kolaveri di...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ramdas Tadka goes Behind the Shadow of Big Bose

(Ramdas Tadka 1968- 2010)

Ramdas Tadka passed away on 13th September 2010. He was a professional artist and when he succumbed to cancer at 43, he was an assistant professor at the Nagpur Fine Arts College. Tadka was a classmate of Julius Macwan and Bose Krishnamachari at the J.J.School of Art during late 1980s. Julius Macwan was a close friend of Tadka and knew well how this artist had wished to be a part of the contemporary art scenario.

Unfulfilled dreams of the people who pass away are often fulfilled by those who remain. Julius felt that it was his duty and karmic responsibility to do a show of Tadka’s works which he was not able to exhibit when he was alive. Till the last moment Tadka was giving a fight to the disease and working to mount a solo show. The paintings were his last act and for Julius it was his first mission to showcase his friend for the people. The show was inaugurated on 12th September 2011 at the Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai. To supplement the show, Julius came out with a book titled ‘The Other JJs’. This book consists three long conversations between Julius Macwan, Sudarshan Shetty, Bose Krishnamachari and Jitish Kallat.

(The Other JJs - cover page)

The other JJs. A wonderful concept. It could have brought out the essence of the JJ School of Art bridging the hiatus between the English speaking mainstreamers and the vernacular speaking, vernies. It could have been a great book. While Julius Macwan’s effort remains quite commendable, the content of the book fail to do justice to the concept and the title, ‘the Other JJs’. Let me justify my critique.

Sudarshan Shetty sums up JJ of his times, that is of the early 1980s. For Shetty, JJ was attractive because there were a lot of beautiful women around. He came after doing his B Com. Shetty did not like his commerce studies because he felt he did not belong to the stream. He did not want to become a painter because he never thought that there could be a vocation in painting. But it was natural for the river to flow to the sea. Hence, Shetty reached the ocean called the JJ School of Art and he could, while remaining a constituent drop, prove that he is also a sea, but a different one.

(Sudarshan Shetty with Bhavna Kakkar and Ina Puri)

Shetty is candid as usual in his takes. He did not know Tadka directly so his conversations revolve around the milieu that defined the aesthetical practices prevalent in Mumbai in general and at JJ in particular. Also Shetty reveals how there was a divided atmosphere between the English speaking and the Vernies. When we read between the lines, we come to know that vernies are pre-destined to go into the gutters of oblivion. But Shetty could cross over to the other shore with sheer determination and effort. And as a man who has never lost his sense of balance Shetty is always on a look out for those vernies who have disappeared from the scene. And at times, at odd contexts they just drop in from somewhere, with a sense of guilt and sense of awe written largely over their faces. Shetty speaks his mind about abstraction and portraiture. He also tells Macwan about how the teaching methods were quite mechanical in JJ at that point of time.

(Bose Krishnamachari)

Then we come to Bose Krishnamachari. And as we keep listening to the story of Bose, we tend to think that we are reading a book about Bose not about Tadka. Instead of talking about Tadka and the other JJs, the othered JJs and the othering JJs, Bose makes himself a hero of the times and Julius plays along with supporting comment. What the reader expects from this section of conversation is the elucidation of the binding concept of ‘the other JJ’. Macwan and Bose could have gone deep into defining the dynamics that constituted the other JJs. Was Tadka a loner among these others? Who were the others? Who were those faces that are now curiously appearing along with the recognizable faces of Bose, Macwan, Kallat and so on in Facebook and all?

When a photograph appeared in Bose’ facebook account a few months back, I saw a few faces that were more confident and bold than the face of Bose with his downcast eyes. Bose soon made it his profile picture. In the book too, we see Bose sitting like a loner with other loners including Tadka and Rajendra Kapse. Bose might have been trying to find his foothold there amongst the friends and as the story goes he did find that and he became quite popular amongst the students. In the conversation he reveals that and he calls that JJ is constituted by migrants and it is like a village with the canteen as the village square where people gather to chat up with each other. Bose was a great motivator.

(an old picture of Bose -behind right- posted by Ravi Joshi)

However, when we read through, we feel that Bose replaces the whole of other JJs with his own glories and hagiography. At one point he says that he knew only two languages when he came to Mumbai: English and Malayalam. Those people who have interviewed him in innumerable journals and television channels know for sure that Bose has time and again said that he knew only one language when he came to JJ first time and that was his mother tongue, Malayalam. Suddenly Bose wants to shift his position to a cosmopolitan from the very beginning there by opting out and surrendering his citizenship in the world of the others in JJ.

This falsified notion of a winner from the very beginning makes the conversation of Macwan with Bose a bit uncanny for the reader. And in due course we see Tadka and people like Tadka disappearing from the scene, therefore a total erasure of the other JJs, and the glorious picture of Bose coming up there like a hoarding. Once we finishing reading this part, we really ask what was Tadka like and how did he feel amongst these ‘towering’ personalities of his times? And what was Tadka’s work all about? This book has a lot of reproductions of Tadka’s works but there is none to tell the reader why Tadka’s paintings are like this? The book could have served this purpose.

(Jitish Kallat)

When we come to the third part, we see Jitish Kallat speaking his mind. Kallat was not a part of Macwan’s batch. Hence, ethically speaking he is not supposed to delineate the qualities and characters of Tadka as a person or as an artist. Instead, as intelligent he is, Kallat speaks about the pedagogic distinctions and comparisons that existed as a general backdrop for the students like him at that point of time vis-à-vis those of the JJ School of Art and its arch rival, Fine Arts Faculty, Baroda. Kallat also speaks about the rebellions that his generation of students brought forth within the JJ School of Art. Interestingly, Kallat is asked to face the interviewer, Macwan, after the latter had conversed with Bose Krishnamachari. Hence, for Kallat too, Bose’ claims become a point of reference and there occurs an internal need for not contradicting or not disclaiming the positions that Bose has already taken.

(Bose- a false profile? from FB)

There is no doubt Bose had been a powerhouse student when he was there in JJ. Like a true migrant he had tried his best to stick his neck out. He was the other JJ but today in retrospect, he wants himself to be out of that otherness and claim a predetermined allegiance with the mainstreamers. Bose still remains a powerhouse today. But he has pawned his ethics to do things bigger even if it goes against the primary principles of democracy and our Gandhian legacy of non-corruption. Otherwise, how a person who claimed to have boosted up the morale of many, now consume Rs.10 Crore for a trust that has constituted with people with no history in the field of art and kept everything away from public scrutiny?

(Julius Macwan)

History is a bitch (and bastard too) at sometimes. When the winner writes the history, the vanquished ones loose a chance of utterance. In their muted position they are as dead as Ramesh Tadka, even if they are living today. I wonder why Macwan did not interview one of those losers and ask them to articulate their own otherness. Only face saver of this book is a post script written by Prof.Prabhakar Patil who had taught Bose, Tadka and Macwan when they were foundation students at JJ. As a conclusion Patil writes: “Ramdas had multi dimensional personality- talented artist, committed teacher, a nimble dancer, great mimic, loving son, caring husband and more. Considerate, energetic, perseverant and hardworking, he has always viewed the brighter side of life- till destiny cheated on him, snatching him away forever even as Mumabi was deep in the midst of the Ganesh festivities. Ramdas, who, once upon a time painted portraits of the dead for a living, was now himself the past. Visiting his Worli home to offer condolences, the digital photograph of a smiling Ramdas in front of me became a blur as I struggled to hold back my tears…”

(prof.Prabhakar Patil and wife Manisha Patil)

Had this note of Prabhakar Patil not been there, this book would have been clearly passed for a project devised and funded by Bose Krishnamachari. Julius Macwan is a well meaning person and despite his odd sense of dressing (he wears a skirt and sleeveless shirt at the art openings), he is forthright in his life and in his works. Had he intensely felt for the concept of the book, the other JJs a bit deeper, he could have come out with a fabulous documentation of the life and times of JJs since 1980s.

(Mukesh Panika,Director Regligare Arts)

I thank Mukesh Panika, the director of Religare Arts, who officially released this book, for bringing a copy for me from Mumbai and carrying it always in his car till he met me in an art opening and handing over it to me with a smile in his eyes.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Evil Orientalist: Waswo hits stands with a Comic Book

Waswo X Waswo has done it again; his faith in India, Indian life style, pace of Indian life, the beauty of the people here, the sound of the languages, the colours of the turbans and clothes and the transcendental purity of the mountainscapes, landscapes and riverscapes.

Waswo, the Udaipur based photography artist and an artist collaborator of the traditional photo-painters and scenery painters from the locality, writer, translator and friend of so many Indian artist has proved his faith in his latest comic book titled ‘The Evil Orientalist’. This book will be a part of his forthcoming solo show in a galley in New Delhi.

He has been in the middle of it for quite some time. Initially he came as a traveller and like many travellers from the west he too had found India quite an alluring place. Replete with contradictions and rich in cultural variety, he felt initially that this was the place where god could come and shake hands with you at any turn of the road.

Hailing from Milwaukee in the United States of America, Waswo, since his childhood onwards has imbibed the sense of multiculturalism. He grew up when the idea of segregation and apartheid was rampant in the milieu of America and within that context he lived as a doubly alienated personality as he realized his different sexual orientation and inclination towards gender politics.

Having studied print making and photography Waswo travelled all over the world till he came to India and fell in love with Udaipur, the land of lotus ponds and havelis and palaces. In any love affair there is always a sense of doubt. Till you kiss it away it lingers on. And Waswo did kiss his scepticism away.

But the locals were not so lenient towards him all the time. They looked at him like any other Firang who had come to colonise them through money and white skin. It took a long time for Waswo to become their Chacha. Once the ice was broken he became the ladla of the local. Today he is a master artist and a craftsman who works with the local masters and craftsmen and never shies away from acknowledging them.

The comic book, ‘The Evil Orientalist’, which is less in pages than a usual comic book in India is a solace in the Indian graphic novels scene perhaps, mainly because most of our graphic novels that intended to be comic are really tragic while reading and seeing. Here, we have an artist taking up his own paintings, photographs and collaborative works as the crux of the narrative and pepping up it with newly painted scenes and scenarios.

This is the surrogate story of Waswo himself who finds himself in the twilight zone of being both a foreigner by looks and Indian by heart. He is a compulsive photographer who tends to click before he licks. But people though they are not aware of the discourse on gaze often find it quite intimidating. But soon he gained the confidence of the people. Still the tag of an orientalist who looks at the eastern subjects through the discourse of the oriental formulated by the hegemonic gaze, as explained by Edward Said in his famous theoretical work titled ‘Orientalism’.

Orientalism was an appreciable genre of knowledge when it was benevolently used. But it became a tool of oppression later by many. There was a time when the orientalists where regarded as great scholars. Post-colonial studies have disproved the orientalist claims as they often viewed the east as an object to be scrutinized under a powerful gaze, controlled and categorized.

With this negative connotation of the word lingering around when someone suggested Waswo’s works were orientalist, it stung him deeply. This was a comment that sent Waswo thinking. This comic book is a result of this deep inner search for his original identity vis-a-vis his assumed one as an Indian, an artist, a man of alternative sexual identity, and a collaborator in creative works.

The Chacha, the young firang is seen sitting at his bungalow where the servants bring him tea and snacks. Waswo makes it a point that these characters speak in their respective language by using English and Hindi respectively in the thought bubbles. While Chacha thinks that the servants consider him as a gora, the servants in turn think that he has come here to exploit them. Chacha’s attention is on the young man who thinks both in English and Hindi, therefore educated, who mops the floor. Chacha’s interest is on his body in order to suggest his alternative sexual interests.

The mannerisms and apprehensions of a foreigner living in India as well as those of the Indians towards the foreigner is well brought out through the dialogue between Chacha and Kaka, an older man from the west. The scenic beauty of Udaipur and places around are captured by R.Vijay who has illustrated the text.

Waswo also brings in subtle critique on the Indian attitudes towards the foreigners by portraying Chacha as Laxmi who has this dollar back up. Besides, by evoking the Indian modern art historical references, Waswo positions himself within this discourse. He brings in Amrita Shergil’s famous paintings, the Brahmachari’s like a quotation and makes the central figure to say that ‘the painter girl could put them in a better frame’. Also Waswo uses the references of Raja Ravi Varma, A.Ramachandran and Surendran Nair, besides evoking a whole lot of miniature paintings.

As post script Waswo has also jotted down 101 confessions that a foreigner/orientalist would make in any unguarded moment of sincerity and simplicity.

This is a worth reading book and collectible item, which is available for Rs.20/- (Rupees Twenty only). Good going Waswo....

Monday, November 21, 2011

Importance of being Sasikant Dhotre at the India Art Festival, Mumbai 2011

(Sasikant Dhotre)

India Art Festival opened at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai on 17th November 2011. The building, from a distance looks like an old cuticura powder tin with chinks all over made by truant school boys from the kolivada. Some people say that it is a phallic symbol; siva linga (the phallus of shiva comfortably fitted into the Parvati yoni created out of the second floor terrace).

Anchor of the opening ceremony, Kanchi Mehta announces the name of the first Kalavishkar Award winner, ‘Sasikant Dhotre’ and a section of the audience erupts in an ecstatic applause. The award carries a purse of One lakh rupees, a certificate and a trophy. Artist Seema Kohli is the donor of the cash award. “There are millions of artists in this country and very few galleries to accommodate all of them. India Art Festival gives the interested artists a chance to come and exhibit their works in the Art Festival booths, of course against a payment. But a panel of judges would assess their works and give this award to the best amongst them,” explains Rajendra Patil, director of IAF and Kalavishkar, an NGO that has initiated this festival.

Kolkata based art historian and critic Nanak Ganguly, Delhi based artist Seema Kohli, Bangalore based artist Ravi Kumar Kashi and myself are the judging committee members. We have a very tough time in assessing the works as each work vies with the other to be the ‘worst’.

(Sasikant Dhotre receiving award from MH Minister for culture Harshvardhan Patil)

The word worst is too judgemental and prejudiced. Most of the artists who take part in this section are either from small town art colleges or small villages. Many of them are self taught and many have not even exhibited once. There is a tremendous amount of naivety in them. They are innocent in many ways. They look at a Jitish Kallat sculpture exhibited downstairs and would wonder, ‘what’s the big deal? Any village craftsman could do it.’

One important thing that these artists who are not seen in mainstream (they are seen in Lalit Kala Akademies, Jehangir Galleries, Kalaghoda Pavement and so on), are quite convinced about what they are doing. And they are willing to learn too. The issue is that there is none to guide. For them the ideals are not Subodh Guptas and Sudarshan Shettys though they rake millions; their ideals are the village masters, MF Husains and local art gurus who have ‘made’ it.

(Painting by Sasikant Dhotre)

We are snobs and before we see try to see the truth of their art, we judge them as bad artists. Okay, if they are bad, then I would say the city’s upmarket buying class in total has bad taste because the second floor where these artists have exhibited along with my SOFA project attract more visitors than the high-brow-ist galleries and their exhibits in the ground floor.

In Delhi, it would have been different. Everyone would have appreciated or depreciated everything because here we have both totally ironed out aesthetics selected by a set of perennially prejudiced gallerists and market players who claim themselves as ‘judges’ and those cash croppers like Paresh Maitys and Jogen Choudhurys selected out of necessity by the judges as well as their representative galleries.

India Art Festival is a new model art fair with more democracy in approach and if it is successful in the coming years those galleries that have been sulking this year from participating would come in throngs and there would be several chances of the fair being ‘bought’ out by corporate houses from abroad. So Rajendra, be ready for a great cash gain. Create new accounts now!

Let’s come back to Sasikant Dhotre. As far as we, the judges concerned, Sasikant was the best out of the given number of artists in the second floor, who had booked their own booths and participated as competitors. That does not mean that Sasikant is the only one artist in the country at this given time who deserves this prize. It simply means that within the given he is the best. It is applicable even in the case of Skoda prize. If someone gets ten lakh rupees worth of Skoda Prize, there is no need to think that he or she is ‘the’ best. Within the given applications and given interests, he/she is the best; and that is the truth.

We, the judges came to a unanimous conclusion that this artist named Sasikant Dhotre, within the given context shows all the possibilities of growth and also show the potentials to experiment. Besides, he upholds the traditional skills of portraiture and shows a high amount of sensitivity towards the subjects that he deals with.

Now, who is Sasikant Dhotre? Sasikant comes from a place called Kolhapur. He is a self taught artist. He had spent two months in Sir. J.J.School of Arts and he left the course for reasons unknown to us. Perhaps, considering the skills, he was not ready to learn further from the college or other circumstances were not favourable.

I have a special relationship with Sasikant Dhotre. I saw a few of the works uploaded in his facebook account almost six months back. Super realist works are everywhere in the facebook, especially those of nude women and I think I have a collection of such images in one of my folders. But this young man’s super realist works caught my attention. I thought this guy had something more to say.

So I went to his info, took his number, called him up and soon I realized that I was talking to a person who was not comfortable with English. So I switched to Hindi. My Hindi, for professional uses is as good as his English. Still we communicated and I told him to meet me when I was in Mumbai next. And my next visit was in September and Sasikant came with his paper works. I was astonished to know that he travelled from Kolhapur to meet me! I was thinking that he was a Mumbai based artist.

Sasikant works in a super realistic style. He is a master of draperies. Like the Renaissance and the Venetian painters, he shows his flourish in painting drapery. Though there is a little bit of male gaze in his works, as his subjects are mostly his family members whom he considers in the place of mother and sisters, this gaze is controlled up to an extent. Sasikant believes that he is a chronicler of the Maharashtrian life once prevalent all over the state but now pushed to the rural areas.

Sasikant selects events from the lives of the girls and young women. They are all seen either self absorbed or involved in doing domestic duties. Through the minute depiction of the paraphernalia, Sasikant features the ingredients of a rich style of life that is being lost out to the onrush of the mall culture.

The brooding women in Sasikant’s works emblematizes the epitomical Maharashtrian beauty which in fact had become the focal point of the artists like Raja Ravi Varma and Mahtre, Dhurander and many other doyens from Maharashtra state. This rich tradition of painterly and sculptural portraiture is inherited by Sasikant.

However, there is a lack in Sasikant’s works; something that makes these works more contemporary than them just being the vignettes of past and a frozen life. I told him to find that out for himself and he promised me to do that. I did not know in September that I would meet the same artist in the India Art Festival.

I did not have any qualms to suggest Sasikant’s works for the prize and to my suggestion all of my fellow panel members agreed without much ado. They had their own reservations and views about Sasikant’s works to which I too had agreed largely. Sasikant needs to grow further and this award is just a moral booster and reminder of his responsibilities for those friends who had clapped when they heard his name announced at the India Art Festival.

Art....yes, it is nothing but responsible interventions in our socio-political and cultural lives.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

No a No Marx World- Pari Baishya’s Performance at Cart Wheel

(Pari Baishya performing 'No Marks')

No Marks...Pari Baishya is really concerned about the body marks, birth marks, skin irritations and all other indices marked on her by the society.

Young Pari Baishya who is a third year painting student from College of Art, New Delhi, uses her body as the medium and message. According to her painting is a sort of mark making and body could be her canvas. Perhaps, the teachers in the college would not agree with this young student’s idea of converting her body as her canvas.

No a performance that Pari Baishya did at the Cartwheel Archives and Journal premises at Chattarpur, New Delhi on 12th November 2011. Pari came out before a selected audience in a very small pair of shorts and a pull over. The she spoke to the audience initially with hesitation and then with some sort of daring.

Pari was talking about her body marks or we should call it ‘markings’ on her body. Initially she identifies a scar on the right temple and she circles it with a black marker. Then she goes on to talk about the other scars that recently received from insect and mosquito bites while travelling and camping in the hills. Then she circles each of those marks while mumbling, humming.

The not so large space transforms into a large arena as Pari cavorts in. Then with her limited theatrical props she coverts the room into her own personal space. She shows her long legs to the audience while circling the scars with black marker pen and says that she does not have ‘pretty legs’.

Then Pari speaks about her birthmarks. One is on her bosom that she circles out. Then she has one on her back that she cannot reach and one from the audience circles it for her.

Immediately after that Pari realizes the need for removing those scars from her body. She takes out a cream, which in fact is a tube of black acrylic paint and smears the ‘cream’ all over the body wherever she thinks she has got stains and scars and marks. Finally Pari does her facial act and turns herself into a black diva.

In the meanwhile she gets anxious about immaturely greying hairs. She wants them to be black so she adds black to those streaks of hairs too.

Then Pari gets up as if she has completely removed her ‘scars’ and asks the audience to click her image till they drop dead. She poses before the audience as if she were showing her bodily assets to a panel of judges.

Pair Baishya’s performance is loaded with ideology and human pathos. Ideologically, Pari wants to repudiate the idea of ‘no marks’. The beauty industry that overworks to turn the world white tells the people all over the world go white. And the beauty industry make the people believe that their skins are all scarred and stained. The new age guys would only fall for the white girls with unblemished complexion and smoothness of skin.

In short, the beauty industry demands a girl to be extra cautious and conscious of her skin and appearance. She is forced to believe all the time that she is just an ugly duckling and she needs to turn into a beautiful swan so that she could win the hands of a prince who would one day wander into this new forest called ‘urban space’. So she is on a perpetual wait.

Pari’s performance is a retaliatory one. She scorns at the demands of the beauty industry and selects the blemished parts of her skin to circle out and tell the world that yes she has got scars on her. So what? Now, in a mock act she smears the ‘fake’ cream on to her body and turns into a black girl, generally a category that has less demand in the marriage, professional and economic market.

Here, we have all the reasons to believe that Pari’s rebellious act is to emphasize her ideological positioning against the so called ‘white’; white as the hegemonic power that rules the world and controls the tastes and even prepare the cultural outlook of the people. Pari’s retaliation comes out of her black pride and she by making herself as black as possible tells the world that yes now she is ready to pose the same way the so called fair skinned models pose before the cameras.

On the other hand, Pari’s act also underlines the pathos of the human beings; especially of those women and girls who perpetually think about their complexion and let their bodies to be the field of desires. When she utters that she does not have ‘pretty legs’, it comes out as a normal and usual psychological response to the self analysis and the ultimate feeling of dejection on the ‘lack’ of prettiness that is demanded by the society in general. Pari, in a way here acts out the hidden fears and anxieties of a young woman who is destined to wade through the troubled waters of fashion, beauty, desire and eroticism.

This ideological binary and their polemical setting became one of the major talking points in the post ‘Prettiness’ as a notion had been even etched in the performer’s mind and she was not able to come out -performance session where an all cleaned up Pari Baishya sat before a very concerned and sensitive audience and faced the questions. The ‘pretty legs’ issue came up through the engagements of Sanhita Bhowal, Mrinal Kulkarni, Agastya, Anurag Sharma and John Xaviers as they all emphasised the issue of this binary (being a part of the ideological drives of the beauty industry and at the same time being critical of it t the extent of being a rebel and smearing herself with black colour). They argued that of it.

In short, their criticism was on the lack of political edge or awareness that Pari Baishya as the performance artist displayed while speaking on this pressing and urgent issue, which in fact was the crux of her performance. But Devyani, a student from the Delhi College of Art said that it was quite natural for a young girl to feel ‘inadequate’ when she confronts her own self before a large mirror. This However, when this feeling of inadequacy becomes ‘natural’, there feeling of inadequacy could be ‘natural’, she argued.

However, when this feeling of inadequacy becomes ‘natural’, there is an allowance of it from the individual’s side too. To resist that one has to come out of the whole notion of beauty as promoted and propagated by the beauty industry which is purely inclined towards making profit over profit. A contemporary woman, a conscious, intelligent and rebellious woman should be making attempts to going in and coming out of this situation as looking good before an audience is not a ‘crime’ but the idea of looking good is controlled by the hegemonic ideas of beauty, it becomes a problematic which needs analysis, resistance and solution.

Pari Baishya’s performance has the potential to be analytical and rebellious. Though there are no conclusive solutions given through her performance, she hints at the possibility of considering the ‘other’ as the beautiful, the dejected as the acceptable, the displaced as the mainstream, the subaltern as the relevant, the migrant as the citizen, the scarred as the rightful and the stained as the saint.

'No Marks....’- Performance by Pari Baishya

Facilitated by Cart Wheel Archives and Journal

Photography Collaboration: Anurag Sharma

Assistant Photographer: Anush Singh

Video and Report: JohnyML