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 6, 2017

Unfolding Ephemeral Traces

Tantidhatri International Women's Performing Arts Festival,
(Part of Magdalene Projects) 12th February 2016 at Ranga Shankara, Bangalore 

Unfolding Ephemeral Traces is about mapping the journey of self; over the years my performance art has had transitory stages of unfolding of psychological, physical and emotional changes, reactions to the happenings around me. My works has usually reflected my surrounding and personal experience which I have gone through. The working and emotive responses have always influenced by my immediate surroundings and reactions to situations. From the start of my journey there has been tremendous transition in my working and presenting process and dealing with issues. The journey of my performance career strongly started with my emotive response to Communal riots in 2002, Saffron Border, was my second performance where I strongly responded to fear and insecurities of common people and firsthand experiences during the Godhra riots in Baroda. Later my journey in performance career progressed slowly, towards metaphorically working on issues of pain and agony of victims (work of bringing the perspective of victims like rape issues and issues of injustice were addressed in my works) which I consider as grey layer but then there was gradual process where I turned toward healing aspects and in more recent works I am trying to find out solutions to this social-political issues worked toward aspect of Catharsis and healing elements.

The Idea of the performance is about finding out traces of my journey, unfolding first hand reaction to the communal rites an era of saffronization later on gradually playing the role of victims showing agony and pain this came with my first hand experience in Baroda during the riots and now gradually working towards healing aspect all this stages have impacted and influenced my performances. As I look back it has been as these as been ephemeral. A moment of time decade and half just gone in one moment I would like to retrace this moment and relive it because I feel although this reactions and actions are bygone the situations and history has not changed much the same amount of fear insecurities and pain/agony is in my mind and of people, again the raise of power in negative tone has given blow to fire which was hidden safely earthed inside me. I feel strongly to revisit confront this present situation prevailing in society. The emotive response has strongly drawn me toward working on this key issue in subtle way, this time not expressing mental trauma or bringing out pain and agony but ascertaining healing as key solution to this hysterical situation present in our society. My efforts are to revisit and reassert those things again and again in my work.

This work was interactive and Performative installation, where metaphorically and ingeniously suggesting these stages in my work through use of the alchemical elements like Ash, Turmeric and Saffron. I worked with existing tree at the entrance of Ranga Shankara, where I wrapped turmeric dipped color cotton cloth and extending the tree form in center, which  merged with mound of turmeric audience were allowed to tie turmeric roots to the tree branches and create tree of healing roots and they were also be given a memoirs of healing. The performance was ritualistic and healing act to me and my audiences, where healing mandala was created with ash and saffron color making different pattern of design in circular form on floor. The prop of my performance was specially designed to make marks (temporary (Ephemeral) marks on road).which leaves traces of my journey.

Performance art is ephemeral in nature, it is transitory. It’s sometimes spontaneous. It’s often interactive. And it’s always an experience. It isn’t, however, a tangible object like, painting, sculpture or even a string of musical chords on paper. There are plenty of examples of ephemeral nature such as short lived flowers and insects. It can be used in an adjective to describe a period of time such as ‘the ephemeral joys of childhood’. It does however lead to loss, death, and mourning. It allows the artist to make a link between the relationships of existence, decay and loss. It is this transition between life and death where many religious cultures, myths and rituals exist. Where the purpose of the art is to celebrate or acknowledge a transition period, not necessarily between life and death but also for example, from child to adult.

Dimple B Shah

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