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, August 27, 2017

Project 560 Highlights India Foundation For The Arts

Project 560 Highlight 2014

Featuring all project Including Basavangudi Live Art Project






My performance was conceived of my firsthand experience in the city of Dhaka. Once, while entering the city on the way from the airport, I saw a very big cluster of tricycle wala taking the road by storm. The road was fully packed with traffic and I could only see the struggle and pain in their body that they constantly endure to survive every day. I could only play the role of a third person who is looking at the whole ordeal: a silent observer, gulping down the fact that the way of life in Dhaka demands hard work in order to survive. This put together two roles in my mind: one is the position of Victim (the cycle wala) and the other one – me, the silent observer. I wanted to bring both of these roles in my performance work

In this performance, my main intention was to draw attention to various social issues that serves as boundaries for active social justice and change. Our society keeps absorbing so-called negativities in the form of Dark, which accumulate in our system like carbon. If we don’t burn out and convert this energy into something positive, it will totally take us to the depths of its darkness. My performance was an attempt to resist this, ejecting all the negativities of our society in the form of bodily resistance.

The act was a ritualistic process for both my audience and I. I went to the audience to collect the negative words. They were asked to vent their negative emotions – the outcome of negative imprints left by society – on a piece of paper. They were also asked to write their negative emotions on the body of the artist friend who became a part of performance. He stood in the position of the Victim and I take the third position of the observer. But I am not silent this time. I do a ritualistic act of sitting on the tricycle in a very dominating position, while burning slices of bread with a kerosene lamp. I try to eat all the burnt bread without water. It was metaphorically symbolizing that we in the third position are also sensitive to negativities. Later, the paper on which the negative words were written was also burnt in incense to spread positive energy. Imprinting the dark was overall a performance in which I (observer), the victim and audiences all went through the process of making something different out of a negative energy.

Performance: Dimple B Shah

Collaborators: Neloy Hossian and audience

Photo Credit: Nasir Ahammed

Venue: Chhobir Haat, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Date of performance: 12/11/2014

Duration of performance: 60 minutes

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Meet The Masked Crusader Who Wants to Remember Unsung Hero

Bengaluru-based performance artist Dimple B Shah reminds us what India stands for today, even if that means dressing up like past's forgotten faces

Dimple, who has brought forward many sensitive issues to the public as a performance artist, creates various characters in public

Over the years, many have given their blood for the freedom our country enjoys today. We've read about some of them and we've even watched movies made on them, but there are a fair few who have been instrumental in building the society we live in. Dimple B Shah, a Bengaluru-based performance artist wants this generation to remember those 'forgotten faces' of the bygone era, who were present when India transitioned from pre-independence to post-independence.

Dimple, who has brought forward many sensitive issues to the public as a performance artist, creates various characters in public. "Through this performance, my attempt was to not only introduce images of famous personalities of the area, but I also wanted senior citizens to come forward and share a bit of their past with us," she says.

Who'that: Dimple covered her face with a black cloth and dressed as a 19-century man

The talented artist that she is, Dimple wanted an open view point on the situation. To achieve this, she covered her face with a black cloth and dressed as a 19-century common man - wearing a jubba, kurta and holding an umbrella. She must've looked like someone straight out of a black-and-white movie! "This metaphorically represented the forgotten personalities and their contributions to the society," explains Dimple, who chose Basavanagudi for this project as it stands out as one of the oldest areas in Bengaluru.

Through this performance, my attempt was to not only introduce images of famous personalities of the area, but I also wanted senior citizens to come forward and share a bit of their past with us
Dimple B Shah, performance artist.

During the performance, Dimple distributed pictures of lesser-known social reformers. Hosur Narasimhaiah, a freedom fighter who received the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to literature and education and is known for adopting the Gandhian ideology and challenging superstitions was one such reformer. "Have we heard of him? No. Like him, there are many such names who have silently pushed our country towards development," she says.

But why cover her face? Dimple explains that she didn't want her act to be restricted in terms of the personalities. "I didn't want to represent only a single reformer or an idea," she states. Her act also represented one of the first social organisations in Karnataka - Abalashrama, a house that was converted into a shelter for abandoned women, which was established years ahead of Independence and still remains one of the most important homes in the country.

Numbers speak: Dimple B Shah has been performing for over 17 years now

Carrying the act forward, the audience is required to take home the pictures and find out more these forgotten faces. For any artist, satisfaction lies in tacknowledgmentent of the work that they do. Similarly, Dimple draws motivation from the participation of her audience. In her case, it has to be prominent and candid. "We don't have a rehearsal. As performance artists, we face a live audience and that's how we take our act forward. The acts are more communicative in nature and we get our feedback on the road itself," she says.

And when a senior citizen from the audience participated in the act, Dimple was understandably elated. "A 70-year-old man came forward and started narrating Sanskrit slokas about choosing the right kind of leader in the society. That gave me a high. The participation of the audience is the best reward I can ask for as a performance artist," says Dimple. To follow suit, we too believe that it is time for the present generation to take a page out of the past to pave way for a better future.

Article by 
Punita Maheswari 
Published: 14th August 2017
Edex Live

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