and December 2001, visited temples, churches, masjid; took a pilgrimage,
approached a Reiki master, holy persons, celebrity gurus with a blank
canvas. At each of these 40 places/people, which draw millions, I
asked for the canvas to be blessed ‘such that it will bring
peace and happiness wherever it stands’.
is then screen printed in plain black with name of place / person
on each canvas which are hung in rows on a gold painted wall, surrounded
by lights; to be approached via red carpet. A video documenting my
visits and edited by a marriage video editor stands in the center,
crowned by the canvases.
Is this canvas really blessed? Was it this particular one which went
to that temple? Ok the artist asked for the blessing, but was the
blessing given? So will it bring peace and happiness to where it stands?
If I take it home, will it bless my house? Is it art then? Where to
I hang it, in the temple next to my idol which all brings peace or
above my sofa? But nothing is painted on it. Its only screen painted
that “This object has been blessed by …so and so.. such
that it will being peace and happiness where its stands”. Oh
there is a choice, diff religions, diff beliefs.. which one should
I take? which will be more effective?
The project is
made against the background that art/craft played the role of manifesting
collective religious aspirations of the society in its public domain.
Now in galleries and museums, one of the precious function of the
artist has become, that of a Narrator of her times and it is this
notions of Authenticity that the project intents to suspend. It also
plays with the investment of meaning and questions belief at a time
when both at home, at the border and beyond the world there is a clash
of civilizations and political alignments are being configured on
basis of religious identity.