I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Vadodara, Gujarat. My work has developed in number of ways over the years yet from the very beginning of my art practice, I have workded in Painting, Printmaking, Installation, Video Art and performing art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Milk, Melancholy & Me - Live Performance [Audio & Video] at Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore, 2011



The wise man is not surprised by death
he is always ready to leave.
La Fontaine
This melancholic state is so powerful
that, according to scientists and doctors,
it can attract demons to the body,
even to such an extent
that one can get into mental confusion or get visions.
-Agrippa

Milk, Melancholy & Me, the performance was based on my experience in Mumbai during 2003. The performance was supported by video which was shot in Mumbai at Marine Drive, Chopati Beach. The video in the performance was about my conversation with the sea and myself over the period of 6 months. The  conversation with the sea starts with overwhelming feeling of its greatness and vastness, later on the feeling narrows down to a point of nothingness of self in front of it. The video narrates ones journey in metro city where he/she is isolated in there own world with no trust and faith on anybody and fear of losing self identity and dreams. It talks about struggle of individual who come with big dreams and tries to fit into this big city, searching for his/her own space and owning it. It also talks of emotive aspect like coping up with loneliness and depression which is the byproduct of mega cities. In this video I have shot very few elements like sea, waves, buildings and reflection of lights on waves. The dancing night lights and play of it on the sea bring the melancholic flavor to the video. The constant sound of waves that symbolizes the heartbeat and existence of life, the play of light in the video represents dreams that afloat. In this whole video I have continuously showed only few elements to bring in the essence of time that I have spent.

The visual treatment was the conglomeration of audio, video & my performance. In audio  I was talking about my experience in Mumbai and my journey in the city, act of drawing on canvas (like mapping my journey) and painting my face with black color. During the performance I distributed black balloons to the audience on which I had written "I Am Here", both painting my face and black balloon symbolically representing the darkness within me. I used herbal resin incense [that is used in death rituals in general] since the element of smell was also important in my performance.

The core idea of my performance was to bring in the psychological state of mind of a person, who is in deep state of depression and in melancholic mood, who is in state of isolation and has lost all its positive power to fight back (symbolic to first stage of Alchemical process – Nigredo, this is very well explained by Carl Jung and interpreted Nigredo as the moment of maximum despair, that is a prerequisite to personal development. Nigredo is "The dark night of the soul". He says "Right at the beginning you meet the dragon, the Chthonic spirit, the devil or, as the alchemists called it "The Blackness", the Nigredo and this encounter produces suffering" It brings the ego into contact with what it fears).

The performance had both existential feeling and melancholic tone. This performance act is a healing process for me and to my audience. In audio there are two people talking one is doctor who hypnotizes his patient and the other voice is mine, who is the patient and takes the journey to the past. (This conversational format was sourced from psychotherapy session and psychoanalysis and expressed here as metaphor. A doctor usually lets the patient speak and listens without judgment, later offering gentle insights and suggestions. Sporadically there occur precious & magical ‘Frozen Moments’, named so by the Jungian therapist Beverly Zabirskie, when boundaries between the patient and the doctor dissolve and in their shared warmth immobilized random traumas of childhood melt away to enable mutual healing). I concluded my performance by the act of pouring milk on my face and this ritualistic act symbolized healing. I am thankful to Smitha Cariappa to give me an opportunity to perform.

5 comments:

sudhir pandey said...

is it pychogeographical performance? because content might have not been objective in gallery space. say for example.. if i give you a balloon and map and i will ask you to follow balloon that time map does not remain subjective. thx

Dimple B Shah said...

Yes this performance of mine is psycho geographical, since situations in my work definitely take the position of emotional and psychological state of mind, from my past experience through a particular situation and geographical space. The content is a study of issues, experience and process that result from growing up in my mind and become symbolized and played out in the gallery which serves as screen for those inner dramas.

narayannaidu said...

Interesting... Deep Play in the City of Mumbai.

Learning the art of positive thinking is one of the important things for personal success and development.

narayannaidu said...

Interesting... Deep Play in the City of Mumbai.

Learning the art of positive thinking is one of the important things for personal success and development.

RIAZO / Production and Curation Company said...

How do I get in touch with the artist. This work is so amazing.
I am intrigued. And would love to meet her. It would be great to find an email address/phone number.

Simar Kohli Bangalore INDIA

simar.tree@gmail.com

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