Notes On Remembering Else Where

May 2013 came with some overwhelming surprises one of which was a much awaited residency at Khoj in Delhi as part of the Peers 2013 Artist in residence.

A packed Suitcase with my essentials and a bunch of art material, and I was ready to begin my month of discovery at Khoj.

khoj2013Montage        Khoj  New Delhi 2013.

 My work so far has always drawn me into the intricate details of the narratives that exist deeper within the lives of people I see on a daily basis, in the citys i have traveled to over the past few years, I have watched, observed, interacted with and documented the lives and work of practitioners of pre-modern. that dot the cityscape, jotting down ideas that I have later woven into  narratives of contemporary urban street culture into my work.chandi chowk6rs

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During my time at Khoj, I explored the urban street culture at Shadipur Depot which is home to an assortment of street artists and performers, from singers to puppeteers and magicians. 

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 I interacted with a slew of Shadipur’s singers, puppeteers and magicians, spending my time documenting their work, their lives and their home. The work that I  developed at Khoj resulted in a translation of my experiences in Shadipur on to a wall in my studio, which played the role of a page in my visual diary.

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Matchboxes, as faded bits of memories help translate the experiences through my interactions with the people of Khirki Village.Marking patterns of my memory on the wall of my studio, was like unfolding stories.

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how and when does an experience become a memory?

Tools of the Trade

openshop barbershop.

open shop barbershopCult Of the street. Open shop barbershop.

Part 2 of Cult of the street:

Barbers shops speak of beautification of the body, sexuality, male power, and vanity depicted through the curiosity as an on-looker/passer by, to something that is considered to be otherwise private. This is where i began exploring the rich traditions of the Naayi /Hajaam’s of Mumbai city.

Openshop Barbershop

Openshop Barbershop

My exploration led to representations of what I saw, in a mix of different mediums.Through photographs, drawings, video and sound installation.

Installation.

Tools of the Trade. from Niyati Upadhya on Vimeo.

In the arsenal of your average Naayi: Blade clippers, trimmers, shears, razors for styling, straight razors, clipper combs: for all-purpose cutting and tapering, for free-hand clipper and clipper-over-comb work, to create outlines and trim beards; to cut, layer, thin, blend, shave. Brushes – round, paddle, vent, combs, oil, gels, foams, mousses, spray bottles, curling irons, blow driers…The stories of the barber are sometimes poetic, sometimes dark, and always poignant.