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Confessions Of An Evil Orientalist showcases humour

entertainment Updated: Dec 13, 2011 01:57 IST
Saudamini Jain
Saudamini Jain
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

The-Evil-Orientalist-by-Waswo-X-Waswo

A local photographer clicking a picture of his decked up wife, a man taking a leak at midnight, and other cliches that cannot help but make you laugh, are all a part of this exhibition.

Acclaimed American artist Waswo X Waswo, in collaboration with Udaipur based artist Rajesh Soni and miniaturist R Vijay, are showcasing Confessions Of An Evil Orientalist at Gallery Escape. The collection navigates between personal revelation and inspired fantasy.

There is a list of 101 Confessions typed on stamp paper and signed by the artist with the collaborators as his witnesses.

The confessions — ‘I have shared chai in a village and imagined myself adventurous’, ‘I have led you to believe the language I that speak is more powerful than your own’, ‘I have begun to double-check the locks’, ‘I have drunk gin upon a high terrace’, ‘thinking the view across the Muslim ghetto charming’, ‘I have paid people to pose for my camera’, ‘I have not paid people to pose for my camera’ — are a list of stereotypes that foreigners make when they visit India.

Stereotypes are what the show is about.

“The Orientalist is always accused of making stereotypes. But, the driving point is that in this day and age, we have made a stereotype of the Orientalist.”

A Hanuman motif runs throughout the exhibition, examining male ego as it manifests itself in aggression, militarism and dominance. Along with the catalogue, there is also a comic book titled The Evil Orientalist.

It presents situations that a foreigner, the Evil Orientalist, finds himself in and how he reacts, and the way he is perceived.

“I started using some images as profile pictures on Facebook and then I got the idea of a comic book. I wrote the English parts and my collaborators came up with the Hindi ones. It was to make orientalism humourous.”

Catch it live
When: Till January 15
Where: Gallery Espace, 16 Community Centre, New Friends Colony
Timings: 11 am - 7 pm
Nearest Metro Station: Okhla on the Violet Line