| Contemporary Art and Identity | next
Ink on wallpaper,
wood, glass, and ink on paper
Take-Away, 2000 (detail)
105" x 102.5" x 16"
Within my art practice I have been exploring the history
and exotification of Indian art and culture. My work plays with and
questions the practices of Orientalism, kitsch appropriation and the
mass-production of culturally specific imagery. I have been deconstructing
and re-contextualizing elements from a variety of historical periods
and artistic movements. I have used images of women from Hindu temple
sculptures and Mughul miniature paintings out of context to question
notions of authenticity, as well as to give the original artworks new
meanings through technical manipulations.
The installation Take-Away (2000) aims to create a small
domestic environment within the art institution, that plays with notions
of home décor, exotic motifs and cultural appropriation. In the
work, I bring together mass-produced household items and South Asian
cultural imagery. This installation explores the current public fascination
with Indian Chic in fashion and popular culture, as well as the glorification
of ethnic consumerism/ consumption. I am interested in the contemporary
transmission of visual culture, and the means through which culturally
specific images are appropriated in the public realm.
The wallpaper in the installation is over-printed with
cliché South Asian motifs, and the gallery visitors are encouraged
to participate in the consumption of these motifs by taking away printed
napkins displayed on a tea table.
|Shelly Bahl's artistic practice is primarily in installation art,
drawing/painting and video. She is currently participating in group
exhibitions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization (Ottawa), and
in Toronto at the York Quay Gallery, Meg Gallery and A Space Gallery.
She has a BFA from York University (1993) and an MA in Studio Art
from New York University (1995), and has been exhibiting in North
America for the past 9 years. Bahl is active in the Toronto arts
community, and is currently a Curatorial Resident of Contemporary
Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She was recently the recipient
of a Shastri Indo-Canadian Senior Arts Fellowship, for an artist
residency and exhibition in India.
Contemporary Art and Identity | next