Take a moment. As you enter this site, you’ll be asked to read, watch, listen, participate. I want to give you an opportunity to become part of my experience. When you move between the pages, let yourself feel everything fully. Listen to your mind and your breathing. Your voice and your tapping foot. Are you nervous? Excited? Confused?
It’s all good.
Let yourself see and feel and hear each of those feelings.
At any point, you may stop participating. If you make it to the end though, you’ll find something new. Try not to skip ahead! I know it’s tempting… but try not to! It’s more fun if you go in order!
This semester, I’ve been pushing myself to find my voice in my writing as well as in my performance. This project folder will be a little different than the others… Partly because I’m returning back to some of the theories I pulled from during my last year of undergrad. Particularly in the importance of the memory of an experience. For that reason, I’m choosing not to post as much video documentation performance work. I’m exploring, instead, how photo documentation can give performance a new life as a separate/stand alone idea. We’ll see. It’s mostly writing.
GRWM (in-person installation)
This piece, titled specifically as “(in-person installation)” was my vision for the installation portion of my MFA Thesis Exhibition. Unfortunately, the in-person version of that has been cancelled… But an update will be posted as soon as the online version of that is published/announced!
In this installation, foundation was used — and lightened as I worked my way down the wall — to write a text speaking about beauty standards in America in relation to assimilation. The writing for this will not be published yet… I am on the fence about this text because it needs a lot more work… But I hope to install this piece one day in the future! The in person experience is much different than you would expect.
Check MFA Year 2: Fall 2019 for the first iteration of this video piece, specifically made for the internet and social media culture!
Help Me Get Ready
This piece lives as a proposal at the moment. Because of the virus, it never was brought fully into the light… So for now, it will stay empty as a reminder and homage to the fact that it would have been here otherwise… I might post photos of the first test of this piece, but it is deeply upsetting to think about this piece not getting to happen during my MFA Thesis exhibition, so for now this will do. Maybe one day you’ll find it in a later project folder. Check back in later if you’d like! I’ve included the monologue in the Writing section, so I’d love for you to take a look at that! That is all I have to offer for now…
Please stay safe. At this point, I have lost access to my studio because SAIC is closed. I am “working from home” and taking online classes. Please check this blog post for resources. I’ll be adding things to it as I find more. I’m going to try and compile as much information as I can, but if you know of something I haven’t listed, please let me know. I’ll make it as comprehensive as I can.
Otherwise, I’m attempting to make work at home still… It currently isn’y going that well, but I’m going to keep trying. For these, I’m working with old make up and other supplies I can find at home. If you have any old foundation/bb cream/etc. send me a message. I’d love it if you could send it to me so I can have a comprehensive color range.
******Everything is wiped down before use, and none of the materials are used on my own face. All make up will be applied to paper or other non-living surfaces******
March – April 2020
These are extremely rough sample images of a new though. A new experiment that I’ve been working on as I’ve been stuck in isolation… Materials used are black paper, foundation (make up product), and Clorox Bleach. More updates to come soon. But thinking about make up, identity, and erasure.
Jan. 2020 – April 2020
On the following pages are my poems, free writes, and other experiments in writing so far.
Page 2: Self-Portrait Page 3: Hyphen Page 4: “What do you remember about the Earth?” Page 5: A Language That Opened My Mouth Page 6: Help Me Get Ready: Monologue Page 7: A Color I Can’t Escape
This is a compilation of finished works, tests, and word vomits as I start to hone in on what work I will be showing in my thesis exhibition this coming Spring. Follow along in this project space or on my Instagram account (@revakashikar_art) where I’ll be posting process images to my IG story!
I am interested in looking at the ideas of tokenism and exoticism by exploring Indian cultural object and finding ways help them transcend to become more than they are. Exploring lace, familiar objects, exploitation, stealing, appropriating. I am interested in post-colonial theory and the ideas of return — both in the way objects are returned, but also how people “return.”
Diaspora. It’s an interesting notion — with a definition related to trauma and refuge — it seems to be something that is being re-contextualized to encompass a larger type of group. One that is related more to a sense of longing or a desire for return. My question is if there is an assumed categorization into diaspora for minorities in the US? An expectation that all people of color feel like they want to return to their “home.” I am curious about that longing and the fact that my own feels separate from their expectation. I am drawn to the space in front of me. A longing for belonging to a home that isolates me. That’s all for now…
Created Out of Context (study)
Self as Two as One
Excerpt of the writing from above 30″ x 42″ canvas:
“Self as two as one as none. When I am looked at I am one, but feel as I am another. Is this how you expect me to look? Indian — Immigrant — Misplaced — Away from home — Bindi — Sari – Diaspora — Bilingual. I am none of these. I am American. I am the same as everyone else. Born from an immigrant history, assimilated into a migrant culture. From now until I die I will be assumed to be the outsider. Assumed to be “out of place.” As other. As exotic. As anything other than I am. Sometimes I am seen… Through rejection of one part or another. Constantly in between. Quirks and aspects of my being show my “Indian-ness” or the fact that I have been raised by immigrants. I love that it gives me more to align myself to. But it also isolates. Never American enough and never Indian enough. Rejected by both, but pushed to the other. Or. Pulled by both to be more. More Indian when my beliefs don’t align. More American to where it becomes disrespectful to my heritage. Stuck. Stuck with this expectation to present more Indian-ness to be accepted into the category I’m being placed in. Is this how you would like me to look? Is this enough to stop the questioning? Is it appeasing now that I am living a lie to stop the interrogation? Maybe it could be. But why mask myself to fit one category. This face you see. This appearance you see. Is my mask. Is the mask I put on to get a moment of quiet while I recover strength and energy to take it off so I can continue to educate you. This is not how I exist always. It is a part of my existence. A portion of the whole that you see as “right” and I see as incomplete.”
GRWM | 12052019
Hi! My name is Reva Kashikar. I am an artist living and working in Chicago. Although it’s titled “GRWM” (and for those that aren’t familiar, it stands for Get Ready With Me), it isn’t a traditional one. This is a piece I’m working on as part of a larger body of work that looks at assimilation and beauty standard differentiation between cultures and countries. It’s a new work and I’m curious to see how you all will respond! It’s exciting and different for me and I am working on an updated version that will include sound! Stay tuned for that as I figure out how to use sound equipment… Otherwise, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Send me a message or leave a comment on the Youtube video!
I went into January with a much clearly mindset. After completing my first semester of graduate school, I realized my brain had been jumping between thoughts. Essentially, it was near impossible for me to find a focus or any sort of thread to follow through the work I was doing in that first semester. My critique at the end of that semester showed me that despite feeling somewhat confused, I did have some sort of connection between ideas and thoughts. It was EXTREMELY encouraging.
That being said, beginning a new project, or really knowing what to start with was hard. So for the first few weeks, it was a lot more about reading, focusing on course work, and completing single day projects in the studio every time I was able to come in. The following are iterations of the panel work I began doing during the 2018 Fall semester to see what else I could do with the material, and maybe land at a why for what that process was. To no-one’s satisfaction, these didn’t really give me a why, but they did give me a what.
Light Trials is the first full performance piece I have worked on. This piece is an exploration of iterations and the sequencing through time. In each performance, there will always be a projection and a live performance element. This project is set up to be repeated as many times as possible. Ideally, once some of the technical aspects are smoothed out, I plan to perform this at least one a year as a documentation of my progression through time.
The notion of past, present, and future is the baseline for this project. In the live element, I will always start to left of the spotlight (the past) and will enter into the space with an exploration of the boundaries of the light source (the present). The majority of the performance takes place in the center of the spotlight as another exploration of my interactions and understandings of the limitations of the light/present. The ending will always be with the performer (me, for now) falling out of the light into the space to the right (the future). With the remainder of the time, I return to the edge of the light — now no longer able to enter back into that space — as an act of reflection.
I see this action of performance done in conjunction with the projection of a past interpretation as another attempt at understanding the relationship between these three stages in life, which are somewhat arbitrarily defined. When the performance is repeated, the projection will be replaced with the most recent documentation of the live performance. I see this as a way to build on both my understanding of the interaction as well as a remnant of my memory and experience. One of the main interests in this project is to see how over time this work will become a documentation for what past version of myself were able to do and how there are consistencies and differences through/between the stages of life.
Depend, Trust, Endure
March 25, 2019
SAIC Critique Week Performance
Image credits to Ted Munyer Performers: Reva Kashikar and Emily Holmes