December 25, 2018 – Vogue
I was asked to attend to the question, “Is the Future of Art Female?”. Those that identify as female must forge new solidarities with those who share identities of oppression. In the wake of the deconstitutionalisation of Section 377 how can we begin to think queerly?. To tip power towards the female, rejects a whole spectrum of lives that strive to exist on the cusps. And art- because it thrives in the indefinite- is compelled to begin this conversation.
Tejal Shah, a queer artist from Goa, makes work that dances in-between place. In their last show, As It Is, they encapsulate this feeling in a conversation with the curator: “I doubt any meaningful emancipation is possible without love and understanding. In my earlier works, it was the edge between normative and non-normative; now it’s the edge between duality and non-duality.”
Art’s criticality begins with a de-canonisation of language. I’ll deploy the word, womxn—the ‘x’, a rejection of the language that embraces man as the measure. Language must resist a cis, straight, heteronormative, capitalist, colonial, racially biased tonality. “Convention neither ‘is’, nor ‘is not’, nor ‘both’, nor ‘neither’ […]”, says Shah. “There is great freedom in this because one is freed from all forms of identification allowing one to go past the cycles of fear, hope, or indifference. There is a process of distillation that transpires through our practice, and sometimes the so-called outcome is an essence whose smell can heal something.”