There is never a shortage of ideas for a creative mind. It finds inspiration both in the usual or in the sublime moments of life. Vadodara-based artist Vasudha Thozur has responded to the idea of celebration in her latest body of work “The Anatomy of Celebration or The Party Plot”: A collection of photograph-based works and four videos.

Vasudha, intrigued by the paradox between the Godhra carnage of 2002 and grand wedding celebrations in the state, in Vadodara to be precise, embarked on this artistic endeavour to look at their harmonious co-existence. “This was the site of the massacre and then, on the other hand, you have weddings preceded by days of celebrations. What is it?” she asks. In four different works, the artist focuses on canopies from four different angles. “There is also uneasiness about all of this but I also find great creative aspirations, for whatever misguided reasons, in these weddings. The weddings in Gujarat are more kitsch and theatrical as compared to Delhi and Mumbai.”

But then the canopies located in the midst of the plots, around which revolves the celebrations, are empty. “The crux of the whole thing lies in there. It's embryonic and the chairs are empty, which is quite telling.”

Living next to a ‘party plot' in Vadodara also enabled her to observe the proceedings from close quarters. In Vadodara, the public spaces used for hosting weddings, functions and parties are known as party plots.

There are four videos as well, which Vasudha says have a painterly approach. Still shots blended with moving clips continue her discourse on celebration. “For one of them I just walked down the highway. So, it's kind of experiential with all these ambient sounds and sensations. And in another one, I recorded a function where I saw these drummers whose mouths were being stuffed with money. We have seen people throwing notes on these occasions but this was the first time, I saw somebody's mouth being stuffed with it. It was so gross.”

Bottomline: Kind of experiential with ambient sounds and sensations.

The Anatomy of Celebration or The Party Plot, Latitude 28, F-208, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, From April 4 till May 10


At WorkSeptember 24, 2010