Found in Translation

Artistes Aditee Biswas and Sandra Chatterjee deconstruct artist Amrita Sher-Gil in their abstract performance piece,Unfinished,which premieres today

Written by Pallavi Pundir | Published: September 6, 2013 12:49 am

Several vignettes of Amrita Sher-Gil’s life and work fizzle in and out on the stage. The sporadic lines and angles in her earlier sketches morph into bodily postures. Her dual identity (of India and Hungary) and sexuality are mirrored in personal narratives. In 2010,when Delhi-based theatre person Aditee Biswas got together with Indo-German choreographer Sandra Chatterjee,they found themselves agreeing over many of the artist’s aspects. “Our main concern was the translation of those aspects,not necessarily in terms of language,but culture,” says Chatterjee,“Sher-Gil tried to grapple with many things,especially with what Indianness means. We were interested in that.” With dance,text,images and a soundscape (comprising sounds of nature,French accordian and Pashtun tunes among others) merging to create multiple non-linear segments,Unfinished,65-minute peformance,marking the birth centenary of the artist,premieres today in India at Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan.

“I worked closely with her paintings and tried to embody the shapes,especially in self-portraits. I posed myself in those shapes and merged it with my own vocabulary,” says 38-year-old Chatterjee,who is trained in Kuchipudi. The title refers to Sher-Gil’s last painting she started in Lahore in 1941,which remains incomplete. “Through this piece,we never arrive at a particular point. Each day there’s a new addition,a new quality,to it. It’s an ongoing process,” says Biswas.

Unfinished will be performed at Siddhartha Hall,Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan,on September 6,7 and 8 at 7 pm. Contact programm@delhi.goethe.org for registration

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