The artist, helped by friends, performs various acts with medical models. The actions are like rituals, performed with the panache of magic tricks on stage. The films are part of a long-term project using multiple media in which the artist interrogates the idea of the nation-state. Here she looks at the notorious histories of anthropology, ethnography, and eugenics that ironically define modernizing government projects with the dream of building an ideal community. The artist, by performing in the works, places herself at the center of inquiry, playing the role of agent as well as the effect of history.
Hygiene / Good Habits
The artist, dressed as Mother India washes the medical model of a brain.
Direction : Pushpamala N / Videography: Clay Kelton / Cast: Pushpamala N, Babitha Lingraj. 02:16 min, India, 2016.
Birth Control / Good Habits
The artist, dressed as Mother India, operates a mechanical childbirth model.
Direction: Pushpamala N / Videography: Clay Kelton / Cast: Pushpamala N, Babitha Lingraj. 49 secs, India, 2016.
Pushpamala N has been called “the most entertaining artist-iconoclast of contemporary Indian art”. In her sharp and witty work as a photo- and video-performance artist, sculptor, writer, curator, and provocateur, and in her collaborations with writers, theatre directors, and filmmakers, she seeks to subvert the dominant cultural and intellectual discourse. She is known for her strongly feminist work and her rejection of authenticity and embracing of multiple realities. As one of the pioneers of conceptual art in India and a leading figure in the feminist experiments in a subject, material, and language, her inventive work in sculpture, conceptual photography, video, and performance have had a deep influence on art practice in India.