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A Performance by C. Krishnaswamy

Krishnaswamy, is a Chennai based artist and a participant of the workshop, whose artistic practice, according to him has always shared a close relation to his personal practices, for example yoga. One of the constant concerns of the artist has been of intervening the notion of a disguise. He believes that every individual puts up a front which has another part to it. The aim should therefore be of shedding of the same and surrendering. According to the artist the performance was planned at two levels – one the process, which is an inevitable part and the other of the result, which would be the act of purification. The performance was based on the traditional notion of offering cooked rice to the invisible, be it ones ancestors, the divine or nature.

As per his choice of place, we all went to one of the crematories, on the banks of the river. As a part of the process, Krishnaswamy lit the fire and started cooking rice, which was to be offered. Later he got his seat ready, by spreading a piece of cloth and evenly laid banana leaves on it. After the rice was cooked, it was allowed to cool down. He then assumed the Padmasana. Later some artists started placing the cooked rice on his body. According to the artist, he took the ritual of offering cooked rice further by even offering himself – a near act of surrendering.