Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Entangled Locks: Steam, Grease, Iron and Comb


JohnyML’s Gallery proudly presents its second solo show ‘Entangled Locks: Steam, Grease, Iron and Comb’ by Mithu Joardar.




All the works are Inkjet Printing on Archival Paper. Size is 12” x 18”. Year 2010. Each work has four editions. Price on Request. Contact. johnyml@gmail.com





(Draupadi 1Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Draupadi 2, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Draupadi 3, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(I can feel 1 Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(I can feel 2, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(I can feel 3 Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(I can feel 4, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Kneading 1, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Kneading 2, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 14", 2010)


(Kneading 3, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 12", 2010)
(Served 1, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Served 2, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)
(Served 3, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Served 4, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Youth Ribbon, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Youth Floral, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Teenage Plait 1, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Teenage Plait 2, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Fringes, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Brunette, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Curled, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Cloning, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Cloning, Inkjet Print on Archival Paper, 12" x18", 2010)
(Bondings 2, inkjet print on archival paper, 12" x 18", 2010)

(Bondings 1, inkjet print on archival paper, 12" x 18", 2010)


(Mother, Pencil and artificial hair on paper, 32" x 19", 2008)


(Mother, Pencil and artificial hair on Paper, 21" x 28", 2007)






(Mother, Pencil on Paper, 18" x 36", 2008)

(Mother, Pencil on Paper, 18" x 36", 2008)


Curator’s Note




Hair is a highly charged socio-political and cultural symbol, which could determine/exhibit the ideological self-positioning of a person within the social structure. Like skin color and the shape of nose determine the racial identity of a person, hair (style) too determines one’s affiliation to a race/class or such social categories. Slavoj Zizek, in one of his provocative lectures tells how the political ideologies and the subjects’ conscious affiliation to those come to have physical manifestations even in ‘styling’ pubic hair. Zizek says, ‘the avant-garde student circles the pubic hair cut, the new age hippie way, everything grows profusely, the yuppie way, only a small strip may be visible and the punk style- the pubic hair clean shaven and the rings hanging…’



Hair is not a pack of dead cells anymore. During the black liberation days of 60s and 70s, hair was one of the most contentious areas of ideological conflicts. To raise the social status, many of the black subjects themselves started ‘cultivating’ their hairs straight and wavy using horrible methods of steaming, greasing, ironing, combing so on. The symbolic power of hair however was made use by the black leaders and theoreticians in order to get the black subjects back to black pride, which would eventually get them socio-cultural equality. Kobena Mercer, an Afro-British theoretician while discussing the political symbolism involved in the black hairstyles during decisive decades of the 20th century says, ‘Caught on the cusp of between self and society, nature and culture, the malleability of hair makes it a sensitive area of expression.’ (Welcome to the Jungle, Kobena Mercer, Routledge, 1994).



It is this malleability of hair, its ability to go between personal and the cultural, social and the political, private and the public, and its highly charged politico-cultural and mythological symbolism that attracts the Mumbai based artist, Mithu Joardar. She styles her own hair in different ways and poses before the camera in order to evoke certain biting issues that we come to confront in our daily lives. If hairstyling was a political tool and an ideological symbol for the black liberationists, today hairstyling has become a business that coaxes each human being into a structure of identity politics, where hierarchies are inscribed with class(ical) precision.



In her photographic performances, Mithu Joardar assumes various roles; of a tree, of a school girl, or classical beauties, of a rebellious woman (Draupadi), of an actress, a pretender, so on. At times she uses artificial hairs to assume a different identity. However, Mithu Joardar’s emphasis is not on the ‘constructed identity’, instead she concentrates on the ‘process of constructing this identity’ through hair as a medium. Here, the pack of dead cells, according to the artist, ‘which would remain a little more time even after she exists to the eventual darkness’ becomes a loaded symbol that posits the ‘wearer’ of it into ideological categories.



Mithu Joardar, in a work titled ‘Servings’, literally serves the hair buns on a plate to ‘consume’, intending the process of ‘cultivating’ the self (through hair styling) as a process of eating cooked food that gives a sense of ‘culture’ to the consumer. Mithu Joardar contests the idea of ‘nature and culture’ by actively presenting the modes of enculturation involved in hairstyling.



When it comes to hair and hairstyling, and its ideological connotations, reading Mithu Joardar’s works in the lone context of feminism will be a false attempt. Hair and its social values are applicable to both men and women alike. When Mithu Joardar speaks of it or performs it, she, as a woman looks at women and their engagement and representations vis-à-vis hair in the socio-cultural and mythological realms. While pitching on the identity of woman, Mithu Joardar does not foreclose the possibility of its application to other realms of identity/gender politics.



JohnyML


July 2010


About the Artist

Mithu Joardar


• Informally trained artist. Learned the techniques of drawing and painting from professionals for about five years and practiced with the art college students in Calcutta while doing my graduation in commerce.



• Solo shows at 1Shanti Road (Bangalore) and Art Entrance (Mumbai)

• Assisted Bhanu Padamsee in the research and editing of the book on Akbar Padamsee.

Educational qualification:

• Post Graduate Diploma from Mumbai University :

1. Indian Aesthetics

2. Comparative Mythology

• M. Com - Calcutta University.

Have worked in corporate field for about ten years in management and accounts.

3 comments:

  1. My photographs are taken by Mr. Naren Bangera, just thought I should acknowledge the credit he deserves.
    mithu joardar

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting portrayal of ideology

    Sravasti

    ReplyDelete
  3. Immensely liked the concept, especially the cut hair on the plates raising questions revolving around 'consumption', 'commodity' and 'culture'.

    The cut hair also reminds me of the Sikh riots.

    ReplyDelete