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, April 25, 2014

Conversation with Darkness

Project 560 (Art Adda) Performance at Old Coal Depot, 2014

In alchemy the matter that was there before all other matter is called the 'Prima Materia'. This was the original substance from which all alchemical transmutation manifested. Coal is the prima materia for the construction of diamonds. Over thousands of years through the alchemy of time, pressure and gravity forms the coal and the prima materia becomes the diamond. Through the prism the white light of the sun shines through. This light is broken up into the spectrum of colors that make up our world. So, through the process of the alchemy of our planet, the coal is compressed into the multifaceted crystal that shines the colors of black through its prism. But now these colors are not coagulated and mixed into the color black - they have been separated and shine with their own radiance. This is a great example of metaphor and how it relates separate items within the same universality. It can be said that the process of time and compression brought forth the diamond. The alchemical earth created this substance from the basest of matter. Within the confines of this matter was the diamond. It was always there - it just needed time and gravity to transmute.

This performance was to understand the journey of coal how it is related to spiritual, philosophical & environmental aspect of life. My attempt was to dwell in darkness of the coal in a metaphoric sense. 

Through this performance audience and I related ourselves to coal and went through the process to understand the journey of coal itself. The performance was essentially to sit on mound of coal and to become one and contemplate in its blackness or darkness something that is living through ages - 400 million years. 

The coal which is also called a fossil fuel because it was formation from the remains of vegetation that grew as long as 400 million years ago. It is often referred to as "buried sunshine", because the plants which formed coal captured energy from the sun through photosynthesis to create the compounds that make up plant tissues. The most important element in the plant material is carbon, through which gives coal most of its energy. In Alchemy the Alchemist often referred to it as a miner. Coal also fits into this symbolic motif. Its meaning has to do with digging deep into the Earth, (Earth symbolizes Nature in its primitive state) to find the Prima Material, of which coal is a symbol. Coal is carbon, life on Earth is carbon-based, and over time coal can be turned into a diamond. The goal of alchemy is to emulate this natural process, but do it much quicker. The coal miner seeks to turn his own body/mind (which metaphorically begins as coal) into the perfected stone that is a diamond.

Dimple B Shah

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Forgotten Faces Reliving Past

Basavanagudi Live Art Project performed at footpath next to Ramakrishna Math, 2014

"We need open minds and open hearts when we wrestle with the past and ask questions of it, and the answers it will provide are in nobody's pocket…We should let nobody tell us that they know all that it contains, or try to prescribe or constrain in advance what it has to tell us" - Eamon Duffy, "Faith of our Fathers".

This was my first performance for Basavangudi Project, this performance was about forgotten faces/looking back into important era, a period development of this area from days of its origin. The foundation laid down by great personalities. Remembering their contribution towards development of this area and overall society and looking at the transition over the decades and looking at the present issues connecting past and present.

Since it was first Intervention for this area, I wanted to flip the past to present and introduce my audience with cultural and heritage aspects of one of oldest area of Bangalore. In this performance I dealt with historical aspect of this area, people and issues of senior citizens. Through this performance my attempt was not only to introduce images of famous personalities of the area but also wanted senior citizens to come out and share their bit of past with us who were witness to that era. This was done by myself performing with costume of old time Jubba, Panche and Mysore Peta, my face was covered with black cloth metaphorically representing forgotten personalities and their contributions.

I was also carrying in my hand custom made umbrella with images of famous personalities which  metaphorical represented that we are under their shades and also I circulated one post card with above quotation to audiences and during  the performance I interacted with audience questioning whose image it was and  circulated copies of photos of famous personalities with their names on it, which audiences were suppose to take with them and dig into the history about them. In this process, to my surprise one senior citizen came out with enthusiasm and shared his experience and story of his time and also sang and narrated shloka. This performance was an attempt to reach all kinds of audience, from college students to local people, like auto driver, working women, senior citizens etc.

Dimple B Shah

Basavanagudi Live Art Project (Reliving Past, Present and Future) - Performances by Dimple B Shah

Basavanagudi Live Art Project (Reliving Past, Present and Future) is an Artist Initiative by Dimple B Shah funded by India Foundation for Arts through Project 560. The event will be from April 24th to June 8, 2014.

Basavanagudi is one of the oldest dwellings in the city and has many Temples, Religious Places and Oldest Educational Institutions that has rich history. People from this place has major contribution in the field of theater, Literature and Cultural Development of the City. The very well-known Lankesh Patrike is also based here and also notable theater personalities have grown up here. The Bull Temple, Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, Ramanjaneya Gudda / Temple, Ramakrishna Ashram, Shankar Math and The Flower Market in Gandhi Bazaar all these places have great relevance in the City Map and also played important role. There are many Educational Institution both in Engineering and Art Field that have great contributions to this area. Over the years despite many people migrating here from different places and part of city it has not lost its charm though the new flyover and construction of new metro line is redefining its beauty. Even today we meet lot of people living in old buildings that has history of 70, 80 years, and still exists representing the good old days and charm of that era. The project is basically to do intervention in form of performances in this area on streets of Basavanagudi. This Project is intent to build intervention in Public Space and create more space for Performances Art.

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