Art exhibit showcases self portraits of 15 artists as a study on gender and image

Jun 13, 2017, 09:21 IST | Joanna Lobo

Art by Anand Radhakrishnan
Art by Anand Radhakrishnan 

"The thing about mythology is that it doesn't necessarily translate into the everyday experiences of women and trans people. Indian (Hindu) feminists hold the paradox of being abused by the same men who might worship female deities," says Alok Vaid-Menon, a gender non-conforming writer, performance artist and community organiser, in an interview with Design Fabric. The interview, which is up online, is accompanied by a visual interpretation of Vaid-Menon's poetry by artists Yashasvi Mathis, Sarah Naqvi and Deeganto Joardar.

Yashasvi Mathis’ artwork for Feels Like Enough poem by Alok Vaid-MenonYashasvi Mathis' artwork for Feels Like Enough poem by Alok Vaid-Menon

This unique collaboration is part of Design Fabric's second issue, and will feature in The Image Exhibit this week. Design Fabric is a meta-educational, collaborative platform started by Taxi Fabric, a space that discusses design, art and the idea of life in India. Every month they release an online issue and then host a corresponding offline exhibition. "This time's theme involves crafting your own image in today's world of social media. It also discusses issues of gender and self-expression," says Madhuvanthi Mohan, creative producer, Design Fabric.

Madhuvanthi MohanMadhuvanthi Mohan

"We have different stories in every issue. This time's photo essay focuses on the contestants and spectators of the transgender beauty contest, Miss Koovagam, in Tamil Nadu. We contact various artists and give them a topic to illustrate. The third format is Over Coffee, which is an interview and a visual representation of that person's work," she adds.

A picture from the photo essay on Miss Koovagam pageant
A picture from the photo essay on Miss Koovagam pageant

This month's roster of artists for The Image Exhibit includes Alicia Souza, Prashant Miranda, Hanisha Tirumalasetty, Pasham Alwani, and Mitesh Rajani. "We asked them to reimagine their self portrait as a different gender — to break their self image," says Mohan.

The audience can also look forward to curated audio-visual performances by Spryk, Visuals by Wolves and The Sine Painter.

On: Friday, June 16, 7 pm onwards
At: Soul Patch, Lower Parel.
Log on to: insider.in
Cost: Rs 300

Also attend
Wardrobe Potluck is a workshop on the theme of gender neutral dressing. Bring in your favourite outfits and try on a gender-bending new one, professionally styled by fashion editor Pasham Alwani and have your photo taken by photographer Arsh Sayed.
On: June 16, 5 pm
To apply, log on to designfabric.in

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