Photograph - ROM2006_8112_10



Maker: Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni
Medium:Sepia toned gelatin-silver print on fibre paper, edition 12/20
Geography: Bangalore, India
Date: 2002
61 x 50.8 cm
Object number: 2006.99.2.10
Credit Line: This acquisition was made possible by the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
Not on view
DescriptionPushpamala N is an artist who has incorporated popular culture into her work, adopting various popular personas and ironic roles as a vehicle for examining issues of gender, place and history. She is the recipient of many honors, including the National Award (1984); the gold medal at the Sixth New Delhi Triennale (1986); the Charles Wallace Trust Fellowship for residency at St. Martin's School of Art, London (1992-93); and the Senior Fellowship, Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development (1995-97). The comic aspect of her work carries a particularly sharp edge in her photo-based installations and projections, exposing cultural and gender stereotyping while exploring the complex terrain of contemporary urban life in India. In all her work, Pushpamala N. is chief actor as well as director, and she is a charismatic on-camera presence. In Native Women of South India, the artifice of the posed studio photography, with its elaborately created sets and costumes, becomes a site for fantasy to look at representations of South Indian women in the Indian imagination. The earliest image replicates a 16th century miniature painting of a female ascetic holding a parrot and the most recent makes reference to a 2002 newspaper photograph of two arrested chain-snatchers holding up police name slates. Playing with notions of subject and object, the photographer and the photographed, white and black, real and fake, the images subvert and overturn each other in baroque excess.
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