Monday, June 8, 2009

Nihkil Chopra and the performing process

Chopra spent 48 hours in the old tower of the Arsenale. He ate, slept, and painted. The performance was focused on a process of transformation in which the artist became another person.

As a second performance in the bookstore in the Giardini's central pavilion, he began a separate act of self-transformation. First, he removed his normal clothes. Then the Indian artist applied make-up quietly and slowly in front of the small audience that watched him. He then donned a new outfit of native clothes. He stood in front of his viewers and played a little snare drumm, and then paraded through the bookstore with members of the audience following him.

The performance was followed by a conversation with Clementine Deliss, who runs the Future Academy at the Edinburgh College of Art, and she described the performance as melancholic, which he agreed with. Chopra turned the conversation to the subject of the importance of painting to his work. He explained that painting is a starting point for all of his performances, invoking both a romantic quality as well as a sense of nostalgia.

He went on to explain that the figure he inhabited in this performance, evoking his grandfather, represented that sense of nostalgia and the colonialist world in which he lived. Chopra cited other examples of his performance work in Mumbai and Kashmir.

Performance as part of a documentation process. As a transformation of the self. As the result of the act of painting. These are the remains of his works when he left the space: his objects, his drawings, and even his hair...

No comments:

Post a Comment