I am a multidisciplinary artist from Bangalore, studied in MS University. Currently practicing in Bangalore, Karnaraka. 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 Live/ Performance art. My intention is to blend these mediums into an interdisciplinary language.

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Smell of Death

Kolkata International  Performance Festival  23 to 26th Jan 2016
Chandar Haat 

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.


I have attempted to work on Melancholy and healing in my previous works but not in this form Gross and Fearful.…. Deceit of life to life itself…

This performance was based on Psychological state of mind after shocking news of sudden death of Friend whose death is till now a mystery unsolved story, I was trying to negotiate and understand mystery related to Death. Trying to understand Death with various undertones – Sudden death of friend brought me to confront deep shade of dark melancholy tones where there was no hope and no light just mere helplessness. My state of mind was overpowered with negative thought of fear no trust in Life, Deceit of life on life itself. It was point of tension a wedge like situation which cannot be swallowed or thrown out it was question of faith in life?

My performance was impression of my reaction to death and accumulation of various thought of sudden death, question related to Death like how when why and who did it?. This Performance was most difficult to perform it needed lot of courage to open up to dark mind thoughts and emotions. It needed more then cent percent from me to be true to express my state of mind which can be communicated to audiences. 

It was intense and melancholic tone. The process had to be ritualistic in nature so as to help me to
come out of this tensed dark state of mind. This performance act enabled me to express dark state of mind where life and death are in-between position, kind of wedge like situation. Metaphorically I worked with ‘Prana’ (the Life) -The life Itself to understand death and heal myself through ritual of going first to state negative state (Nigredo) and slowly coming out to a positive state through ritualistic Process both Psychologically and physically and reach out to the mode of catharsis.

Metaphorically Prana which also means (life and as well as breath) was used in my performance as essential element and working with different breathing techniques and modes I created different moods of mind. 

I reciprocated to my first impression of death by creating a tense situation in my mouth by blocking it with piece rock salt all through my performance as I was trying to go to different breathing modes. The image of my friend suffocating during her death was stuck in my mind quite strongly and I wanted to come out of these suffocating feeling.I used salt to stabilize my tensed state which is essence and important element of body as it also heals and fights negative energies. Through various ritualistic healing moments I could reach my audiences This Performance act enabled myself and my audiences to encounter to truth go through ritualistic process of healing and attain catharsis in the course of action.

Dimple B Shah  26th Jan 2016

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