Sunday, May 13, 2012

Prune Nourry- Holy River

text & digital augmentation
by K.K.W
Prune Nourry
"The Holy River".
Photos mounted on light boxes.
In a land where spiritualism, the sacred and holy- via Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism etc, exist, it seems unreal that gender-selection (preference for males over females) is not just a thing of the past, but still avidly engaged in to this day.
@ the invisible dog
In India cow's, rivers (the Ganges), and women are publicly  looked on as sacred, also in myths and legends, and yet this often masks the way they are really treated. Females are still treated as less then males, often with cruelty, and the Ganges river has become a floating garbage dump. Prune Nourry's exhibition Holy river represents the culmination of a three year project on gender selection, focused on India. It mirrors the Holy daughters exhibition that took place in Paris in 2011. Fusing the image of the sacred cow with that of a young girl, made with clay from the Ganges river (inspired by the design of her earlier Holy daughters), Nourry commissioned a team of artists from Kolkata's potter district to create a giant deity, hoping to bring awareness to the matter of sex selection in Asia. In some strange way the deity seemed to have an effect on those who saw it, the footage @ the event clearly shows this, not to mention the crowd on opening night.  

The 17 foot tall statue was then later infiltrated into the Durga Puja-Hindu festival (October 2011) with thousands of other deity's (an amazing thing for a foreigner, and an artist to pull-off), where it was then placed back into the Ganges river, where it was born at the end of the festival. Here, at the invisible dog art space the themes of the exhibition is water and the female gender, both sources of life, and yet depending on the place and circumstance, still held in low regard. "...the holy river project highlights the paradox between a respected symbol and a trampled reality.." (1).

Nourry's project also brings awareness to the growing lack of free, clean water, and the religious, social, political and ecological issues that arise through the different aspects of her work. The exhibition consisted of photography, her deity designs (Holy daughters), video footage of the creation of the  large statue that was then later in the Durga Puja, a stunning performance by Preeti Vasudevan, with amazing sound by Mitchell Yoshida, smell by Olivier Delcour, and taste by Michael Hamilton.

Vasudevan's performance started off quite slow and careful, building up towards her goal, movements subtle and powerful, drawing in the audience. As she moved from one point to another, almost like she was gliding along, one hand poised like a deity, you really felt her power. At its peak when she began stomping her feet with the music, moving in a circle, the crowd was spell-bound, feeling every bit of her. It was a wonderful exhibition and event with excellent curation by Tatyana Franck, and support for the exhibition from Sophie Ubald Bocquet. 

The exhibit is on view until May 27th, with an encore performance by Preeti Vasudevan on May 19th @ 6:30 pm. All this @ the Invisible Dog- 51 Bergen street, Brooklyn N.Y. Prune Nourry is a New York based french artist whose work not only crosses lines, but touches on some extremely important social problems, that pushes you to action. If you would like to know more, go to:www.prunenourry.com, or:www.theinvisibledog.org/holy-river/, (1) taken from Holy river-Journal of a performance. 
"Art is the reason, art is the way".  



Preeti Vasudevan


Mitchell Yoshida


Holy Daughter, by Prune Nourry

Holy Daughter, by Prune Nourry


Holy Daughter: Prune Nourry.

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