Chalk pastel on Fabriano paper, paper clay
Photograph by Eliane Excoffier
Chalk pastel on paper clay (unfired)
Siegmundstor, Neutor Passage
Museum der Moderne Salzburg
Photographs by Rainer Iglar
This installation is within a window for advertising, situated in a pedestrian path of a mountain tunnel – the Neutor Passage in Siegmundstor Tunnel, Salzburg. In these passages, there are many vitrines in which you might see ads for lake houses, beauty parlours, or bakeries. I have been working with window vitrines over the last six years. I am completely obsessed with these strange, compressed spaces that direct our attention to the goods inside, which are always available for purchase. I am curious how value is created – how one object can end up in a museum, and another in a store. Do these objects sell ideologies of culture in one format or another, particularly as museums and department stores were developed simultaneously as spaces of surveillance and self-regulation of gender and class. These forms began as studies for larger drawings/sculptures that would be the size of bollards. I was interested in street architecture navigating the body. Then these smaller sculptures were studies of form itself, and the slippage between objects that could represent the divine (lingam/Siva), sex toys, utensils, or drawing tools.
Unidentified Tools from the National Museum in Delhi (from an image taken with my iPhone), 2018
Pencil on Fabriano paper, chalk pastel on clay, 4 x 5 ft
My interest in utensils connects to watching my mother pull out various tools while cooking. She would have a specific grater for coconut or a mould for rice cakes; each one had a purpose, and was part of a larger whole. I am researching utensils, and considering tools from a feminist reading and legibility. This drawing is from my first visit to the National Museum in Delhi. I noticed that the information panels were limited, left out how women might have informed the production or shaping of these tools, in addition to missing dates and use. What struck me is that some of these objects could even be used today and are therefore living objects. I wanted to flatten the hierarchy of the museum display in the drawing, and have placed the drawing on the ground. This drawing – which is vulnerable in its exposure – can be encountered from all sides, and viewed in a circular manner. The drawing is secured by four oblong shapes, which on one hand refer to the lingam stone as a form that represents Siva or a lingam, and also becomes another kind of tool – a paperweight. The surface on the clay is unfixed, and the colour will continue to transfer to the paper over time.
In the process of making paper, the grid of the warp and weft are slowly fragmented and the fibres are broken down on a microscopic level and begin to form a new bind. This is an image of the handmade paper, merged with its interior self.
Handmade khadi paper, chalk pastel, paper clay, steel stand, digital prints
Photograph by Eliane Excoffier
I am interested in the significance of khadi (cotton) as a fibre for handmade paper as a way to imbue a substrate with an embedded metaphor of resistance. I repeatedly crumple the paper and it begins to behave between cloth and paper,
as a sculpture.