MFA Year 2: Fall 2019

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)

September 2019

Poem Fragment

November 2019

Self as Two as One

December 2019

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

December 2019

Youtube Caption:

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!


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