Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CULT OF THE STREET by Niyati Upadhya

This is a mixed media compilation of 2 bodies of work that each trace the lives of two of Bombay’s street professions: the bone setters and the barbers. The exhibit takes viewers through a compilation of work that explore the city’s streets, which showcases the nature, dynamics and reactions of the people and their business, with the common man,set stage in the by-lanes of Mumbai city.

Bones speak of fragile bodies, mortal remains, healing and restoration form within.Barbers shops speak of beautification of the body, sexuality, male power, and vanity depicted through the curiosity as an on-looker/passer by, to something that is considered to be otherwise private.

The Cult of the Street is a series of visual diaries recording quaint old businesses that continue tonsurvive in a day and age to which they appear unsuited. In the words of the artist, “Moving about the city, I noticed these old-fashioned practices and observed the interactions between people and their ways of making a living, itself an art as old as time.”

Niyati’s exploration led to various representations of what she saw. Through photographs, drawings, video, sculpture and sound, her documentation of these dying professions gives a keen closeness and insight into the lives of the people behind them.2 businesses, 1 human body While the compilation depicts 2 very different professions, they are both closely linked
to the same human body.In Mumbai, stories of livelihoods perennially teetering on the edge of extinction are sometimes poetic, sometimes dark, and always poignant. It is these delicate, everyday (hi)stories that Niyati aims to draw out through this mixed media show.She lives and works in Mumbai

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