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Women's suppression and empowerment

Last updated: 14 December, 2011
DHNS 19:42 IST

Female Power

Women artists based in India, the US, Australia and Iran have come together to exhibit both empowerment and suppression of the fairer sex at the same time.

Curated by Jasmine Wahi, the group of exhibition ‘And the Falchion Passed Through his Neck’ represents diverse reinterpretation of strong feminist icons through the use of historical and religious iconography to convey female empowerment in contemporary society.

Started on December 14, the exhibition at Latitude 28 has photographs, videos, paintings and sculptures from artists Anjali Bhargava, Divya Mehra, Chitra Ganesh, Samira Abbassy and Sangeeta Sandrasegar’s.

“The exhibition is basically on womens’ empowerment and suppression, both sexual and intellectual. Each work in the show is dually inspired by a female heroine and the artist herself as a strong female figure within the context of her own society. Be it a goddess, biblical character, or historically significant being – each subject disregards the misogynistic constraints prescribed for women,” says Jasmine.

For instance Samira Abbassy, an Iranian artist, and Sangeeta Sandrasegar’s works explore the power of femininity and strength in goddess such as Kali and Durga within the Hindu context, while applying autobiographical elements to their illustrations.

Anjali Bhargava’s work, ‘Suffocation Series 2010’, explores the different portrayals and physical attributes associated with goddess. It also exhibits suppression with women’s face wrapped in thin transparent plastic sheet in her pictures.

Chitra Ganesh’s work highlights women power by displaying images of warrior Rani of Jhansi and her western counterparts such as Judith and Joan d’Arc.

Women is not all about suppression, it has a dominance and humorous side too and that is what Divya Mehra’s works present in two different aspects of the exhibition. Her work ‘PANTS’ demonstrates the dominance of women in historically patriarchal societies.

“While the work is funny it is indicative of an alarming trend of dominance and curtailing of female strength,” Jasmine says. The exhibition will continue till January 15.

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