For The Arrival of Vasco da Gama Pushpamala plays her first male role as the celebrated navigator, recreating the original painting as a photographic tableau with artist friends as supporting cast. Elements of the painted sets made for the shoot and written texts form an installation like a theatre museum around the photograph, unpeeling the work. The artist turns Salgado’s conception on its head, returning what is a work of imagination that has over time gained a degree of historical legitimacy, to the space of fiction and masquerade.
This artwork description has been sourced from the artists website.
Born in Bangalore, 1956, Pushpamala N has been called “the most entertaining artist-iconoclast of contemporary Indian art”. In her sharp and witty work as a photo- and video-performance artist, sculptor, writer, curator and provocateur, and in her collaborations with writers, theatre directors and filmmakers, she seeks to subvert the dominant cultural and intellectual discourse. She is known for her strongly feminist work and for her rejection of authenticity and embracing of multiple realities. As one of the pioneers of conceptual art in India and a leading figure in the feminist experiments in subject, material and language, her inventive work in sculpture, conceptual photography, video and performance have had a deep influence on art practice in India.
Starting off her career as a sculptor, Pushpamala began using photography and video in the mid -1990s, creating tableaux and photo-romances in which she casts herself in various roles. Interested in history and the idea of cultural memory, she cites a wide range of references in her series of masquerades where she simultaneously inhabits and questions familiar frames from art history, photography, film, theatre and popular culture, thereby placing herself as the artist at the centre of social and political inquiry.
Pushpamala N lives and works in Bangalore after having lived for periods in different Indian cities. She exhibits widely in India and internationally, and speaks often at seminars and conferences.
This artist bio has been sourced from the Artists website