PUSHPAMALA N. (B. 1956) and CLARE ARNI (B. 1962)
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PUSHPAMALA N. (B. 1956) and CLARE ARNI (B. 1962)

The Ethnographic Series; from the project 'Native Women of South India: Manners & Customs'

Details
PUSHPAMALA N. (B. 1956) and CLARE ARNI (B. 1962)
The Ethnographic Series; from the project 'Native Women of South India: Manners & Customs'
each signed, numbered and dated '7/20 Pushpamala N 2000 - 2004' (on the reverse) and individually titled and numbered (on the reverse)
sepia-toned silver gelatin prints on archival warm tone fibre-based paper
three photographs sized 9 x 12 in. (22.9 x 30.5 cm.) each; ten photographs sized 6 x 9 in. (15.2 x 22.9 cm.) each and thirty two photographs sized 4 x 6 in. (10.2 x 15.2 cm.) each
Executed 2000-2004; number seven from an edition of twenty
Set of forty-five photographs (45)
Literature
Versions of this work have been published in the following:
J. Guardiola, ed., India Moderna, exhibition catalogue, IVAM Institut Valencia d'Art Modern, Valencia, 2008, p. 53 (illustrated)
M. Akiko et. al., eds., Chalo! India, exhibition catalogue, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2008, pp. 170-171 (illustrated)
V. Sansone, 'New Delhi New Wave', Flash Art, Vol. XLI, Milan, 2008, p. 87 (illustrated)
Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, New Delhi, 2007, pp. 35, 49-81 (illustrated)
F. Bousteau, ed., Made by Indians, Turin, 2007, p. 344 (illustrated)
J. Neutres, ed., New Delhi New Wave, 2007, pp. 94-101 (illustrated)
C. Sambrani, ed., Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, Australia, 2005, p. 73 (illustrated)
Exhibited
Versions of this work have been exhibited at the following:
Tokyo, Mori Art Museum, Chalo! India, November 2008 - March 2009
New York, Bose Pacia, Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, November-December 2006
Noorderlicht, Photofestival Leeuwarden, Another Asia, Photography from South and Southeast Asia, September - October 2006
San Francisco, Berkeley Art Museum, Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India, June - September 2006
New Delhi, Nature Morte, Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, February - March 2005
Kolkata, Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre, Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, November 2004
Mumbai, Chemould Prescott Road, Pushpamala N. and Clare Arni, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, September 2004
Bangalore, Gallery Sumekha, Native Women of South India: Manners and Customs, March 2004
Special notice

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Lot Essay

Comprising 45 images, this photo-performance by Pushpamala recounts a multitude of stereotypical characters expected to be found in South India. Building on the colonial practice of documenting the various 'natives' through photography, these images present women in a wide range of roles including a Toda tribal, a nun and a sorceress. Portraying each of the avatars herself, the images created in collaboration with the British photographer Clare Arni over a period of four years required meticulous planning and preparation in order to produce each set and backdrop to perfection. Adopting an aesthetic steeped in the conventions of South Asian cinema, Pushpamala's various series of photographs follow in the wake of Eleanor Antin and Cindy Sherman in their use of self-portraiture as a mechanism for unearthing latent stereotypes and implied typecasting of women. While Pushpamala employs humour and wit in her works, there is also a distinct feeling of cynicism where the artist questions a male dominated society and the roles that women play within it.
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