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Vidya Kamat’s practice is an on-going inquiry into the ways the human body (and the attendant complexities of self-hood) is ‘written’ by symbolism. Significance is derived from the layers of meaning that can and do veil the human body. The artist suggests that perhaps there can be no understanding outside these layers; no ‘pure’, unmediated relationship to the body.<br style=''''><br style=''''>Alongside this insight, the centrality of not only the female body but the artist’s body, the use of appropriated imagery and the correlation of image and text links Kamat to artists who have been variously informed by and informed feminist theory. At issue is the cultural construction of the female body and notions of femininity. Cindy Sherman and Barbara Kruger are two references. However, Kamat can be distinguished from these precedents in terms a sensual engagement with the female body. Moreover, she doesn’t resist a sense of authentic drama in favor of concerns with the simulacral. In this respect, and in line with the photographs of her contemporary Pushpamala N, we should note that masquerade and performance form part of an Indian rite of passage in terms of ritual and religious heritage.<br style=''''><br style=''''>Kamat offers a contemporary and culturally nuanced advance on her feminist precedents. The artist tells us that while the body may be shrouded in myths, there are pleasures as well as critical insights to be understood.<br style=''''><br style=''''><br>                                                            Vidya Kamat
Birthmark Series
digital print on archival paper
 122 x 91 cm(48 x 36 inch)
photographic work
2007


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