Vidya Kamat

A scholar of comparative mythology as well as an artist, Vidya Kamat explores how mythology, memories, and history shape individuals, nations, and civilizations through her bold, deliberately manipulated photographic works. In Kamat’s hands, a photograph is never a straightforward record, as she explains: “A photograph for me is a palimpsest rather [than] an accurate record. I therefore overlap/blend/burn/warp to corrupt an image to present possible narratives that could also be alternative histor[ies].” She begins with an image of her own body, or its isolated parts, which she then radically alters with layers of texts, garish colors, patterns, headdresses, horns, and other symbols from Indian religion, mythology, and history, as well as her own memories. Through this simultaneous defacement and transformation, Kamat reveals the mutability of identity and suggests that the formation of …

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