Stargazing – investigating the intersection of feminist and science fictional themes

Sabah Mathur of Saffronart on a new exhibition in London: Stargazing (22 June-19 July 2012)

London: If the fantastical is what you enjoy then this is just the show for you. Stargazing is an exhibition of works by four contemporary Indian female artists – Chitra Ganesh, Mithu Sen, Anita Dube, and Jaishri Abichandani; and an American artist, Nida Abida.

Curated by Jaishri Abichandani herself, the exhibition includes installation, sculpture, drawings, and prints. The artists address issues of gender, race, and power and approach their work with a sensual, subversive, and dark femininity akin to the energy of Kali, the fierce Hindu Goddess associated with empowerment. In Jaishri’s own work, Cyborg as Self, she envisions herself as a male borg drone and alludes to the androgynous iconography of Ardhanarishvara, which highlights the Goddess as the source of divine power.

Jaishri Abichandani, Cyborg as self, 2012

Jaishri Abichandani, Cyborg as self, 2012, Lightbox
Image credit: Rossi & Rossi

With elements of black magic and science fiction, this exhibition reverberates between the mortal and the mythic. Chitra Ganesh, recently awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, exhibits Performing in Paradise, a portrait of the iconic Grace Jones pulsating with raw, visceral energy. Another rather large work is by Mithu Sen, the winner of the 2010 Skoda prize for Indian contemporary art. Her work, You Owe Me, pries into the male psyche, presenting hermaphroditic male bodies pregnant with impossibilities.

Chitra Ganesh, Performing in Paradise, 2012

Chitra Ganesh, Performing in Paradise, 2012, Acrylic, tempera and ink on canvas
Image credits: Rossi & Rossi

Mithu Sen, You owe me!, 2009

Mithu Sen, You owe me!,2009, Mixed Media on custom handmade acid free paper
Image credit: Rossi & Rossi

Read more about this exhibition.

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