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.

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Bangalore Mirror Bureau | Updated: Jun 18, 2017, 09.54 PM IST

By: Suresh Jayaram

Dimple Shah's performances fall under the genre of contemporary art. Here, she wants to remember the forgotten faces who contributed to development of society

Dimple Shah juggles many genres as a visual artist. She specialized in Print making from MS University and has been exploring Performance art, and has been extensively travelling in India and the world with her performances.

As I stood at a prominent junction in Basvangudi to view Dimple’s performance art, I was asked by residents and auto rickshaw drivers about this event. I had to contextualize it with artist’s intention as a site and time specific event, a interdisciplinary live action, performed in a context. And it was a process of interaction with live audience. The artist is not acting a plot, but has constructed a liminal space and steps into this provisional time.

Dimple is conscious of the gendered body and uses it in different contexts. “In Indian women’s Performance Art therefore, apart from other issues, a preoccupation with women’s marginalization has been central. The collusion of cultural, religious and political discourses in subjugating women is probed. Such art-works reform the spatial segregation of women by pursuing personal issues of women’s lives in public spaces. By bringing their art into the everyday they infuse it with greater audience-performer interactivity, also implicating the audience in the issues being addressed.” As articulated by Minakshi Kaushik.

Dimple’s plays with local characters and identifies with their social, political and cultural associations. Her former experience in theatre has a decisive influence on her work. Dimple’s Basavangudi Project called 'Forgotten Faces- Reliving Past’,supported by IFA- India Foundation for the Arts- Project-560.This performance was about forgotten faces and looking back into important period of development of this area and the long association with writers and theatre people. Dimple recollected characters from a socio-cultural milieu with warmth and nostalgia and was made visible the people and spaces that had a history and local context. Dimple was dressed in a typical “Jubba-Dothi" with odd coat and Mysore turban”- the image of the “Modern man” from another era, and she had an instant reaction from her audience.

She said: “In this performance my attempt was not only through my performance introduce the images of famous personalities of Basvangudi but also wanted senior citizen to come out and share their bit of the past with us. I covered my face with a black cloth metaphorically to represent the forgotten personalities and their contributions. I was also carrying a custom made umbrella with images of famous personalities which was metaphorical-represented that we are under their shade. I interacted with audience questioning whose image it was and circulated photocopies of famous personalities with their names on it. It was made interactive as audiences were suppose to take and rediscover them."

Looking back at the history of Performance, it was a genre in which art is presented "live," usually by the artist but sometimes with collaborators or performers. It has had a role in avant-garde art throughout the twentieth century, playing an important part in anarchic movements such as Futurism and Dada. Indeed, whenever artists have become discontented with conventional forms of art, such as painting and traditional modes of sculpture, they have often turned to performance as a means to rejuvenate their work. Although the concerns of performance artists have changed since the 1960s, the genre has remained a constant presence, and has largely been welcomed into the conventional museums and galleries from which it was once excluded. The foremost purpose of performance art has almost always been to challenge the conventions of traditional forms of visual art such as painting and sculpture. Another Performance of Dimple was Meet K. Venkatappa (May 2016). This is was an interactive live performance, and was part of VAG forum, through this performance my attempt was to introduce works of K Venkatappa, artistically using old Bioscope to show his works by making a film strip of his paintings, landscapes and other mythological stories to common people. The major concern was to draw the attention of people towards the issue of Venkatappa Art Gallery. 

Another of Dimple’s performance was called Piece of Earth in my Pocket, at Bangalore Santhe- Vivekananda Metro Station 2014 Part of Live Art Lab. “In this performance I intended to focus on two aspects, one rapid development of urban space leading to constant demand for more land leading to deforestation.

Dimple Shah has been consistently pushing the boundaries of her performance practice in our city where the artist sustains herself with a teaching job at the Bangalore University department of Fine Arts. The persistence to involve herself with issues beyond gender specific roles is admirable. She uses every opportunity to make her presence felt as a contemporary artist of our times.

(Suresh Jayaram is a visual artist, curator and art historian; his column features perspectives on the Arts)

Bring me the taste of Earth and I bring you taste of Love II

Jaipur Art Summit 

9th December 2016 Jaipur , India

“We are what we remember. If we lose our memory, we lose our identity and our identity is the accumulation of our experiences. When we walk down the memory lane, it can be unconsciously, willingly, selectively, impetuously or sometimes grudgingly. By following our stream of consciousness we look for lost time and things past. Some reminiscences become anchor points that can take another scope with the wisdom of hindsight. ("Walking down the memory lane") - Erik Pevernagie 

The idea for this Performance was to establish connection to historical aspects of Jaipur City. Jaipur is one of the oldest cities and its architecture is old as 300 to 400 years every stone of the city is embedded with history within. The city has lots to share, from small to big stories of people who lived in this place. Strange and curious stories are embedded in the walls of the city, the people of city who have witnessed the city growing in ages can share lot of untold stories. 

I viewed city through an archeological perspective and I performed as a sort of an archeologist who wants to collect evidence as much as possible from the historical reminiscence of the city, in this process I became part of it and merged with it, camouflaging self with city. I turned myself in pink through ritualistic and per formative act, becoming one with the city turning myself in pink in my mind, heart and soul. The essence of city can be found in various sources in its old historical buildings, be it city streets and lanes, or in its air, in colors of stones and bringing the real essence of pulsating and breathing city not only Capturing its past but the present, which stands for rich Historical and Cultural heritage. 

Through various alchemical processes of collecting grinding filtering Bricks and earth from various corners of city, Merging my body to become part of it. Finding and collecting evidences to understand the art and culture of the city. One need to dig deep to understand the city and it is possible only through close observation of objects, remains like stones and bricks which has embedded history. This performance was collaborated with common audience; they became part of my intervention when they lend their contribution by participating in the performance and by showering pink earth on me and share oral history of the place, and in return take back token of love from artists a sweet which was mix of flavors (Bitter and sweet).

This project was kind of personal journey, a process where I became part of space I visit and live in for some time and establish connection. To understand culture one needs to live not only in monuments, old literature but also connect to local people and know more through oral histories which surely add varied and unique dimension to known histories. My focus was to create a sense for a collective cultural memory, about individuals and also shared spaces, personal /collective journey of self local communities.

It is a process through which we resurface invisible memories into the visible mode. It is a culturaldiscourse of understanding historical city. The performance was to collect the essence of city, reminiscence of rich history of the pink city, and also about dissolving myself in the color and culture of the city. 

Dimple B Shah  November 2016

Monday, June 12, 2017

From Here to There II

Project Initiated By  Team Beyond Belfast
Performance done as part of Same Difference: Equinox to Equniox
Kalamandir School of Art,Hanumanthnagar, Bangalore  22 September 2016
37  world wide Location ,37 Performance group and 275 performance artists One Moment of Equal Night and Day 

The performance was done on the occasion of World Performance Day celebrations.Around 275 artists from 37 Locations performed at the same day Equaling Day and Night in their respective space and countries. This project was initiated by “Team Beyond Belfast” and in this global event from Bangalore I did my performance. “Here to There II” was an extension of my previous performance,performed in Sweden (this performance focused on issue of migrations, homelessness and acceptance of people who are immigrants/refuges come from war zone area.

This performance was about people who lost their homes, Land & country and tried to migrate to distance land and find and make new homes. The performance act started by metaphorically connecting to one own bonding with homeland and home. Symbolically connecting it through brick tied up to feet.

The home and land which they had to leave behind destroyed in war. The memory of homes they carry wherever they go.The weight of loss and pain of hope and homes keep on haunting them at one point and they struggle for survival at other point.)

This project was collaborated with students with whom I had already shared concerns and issues of migration and homelessness, and asked them to prepare themselves with their reactions in any which way they could connect to it.In an indoor space

I started building my performance by wrapping plastic homes on my head and chewing Sweet Paan (Sweet BetelNut Leaf) overdosing and over stuffing my mouth with sweetness of chewed pan.

While I was performing this act students started sharing their words on flex both in Kannada and English language, the words which had negative connotations,then slowly I started giving card which had images of destroyed homes and also gave sweet pan to audiences but only few of audiences accepted them. The Sweet pan represents acceptance and non acceptance of immigrant in any country.

As I was overstuffed with sweetness I had to spit and I spitting on text shared by students.The performance unfolded by unwrapping of plastic homes which represent hope and aspiration of migrant to get one more home in distance land which seldom happen and they remain as refugees and end up fighting for survival. My performance also ended by resting dream homes on jute gunny bag which metaphorically represent survival and existence on the edge. 

Dimple B Shah 30th May 2017

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