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Kirtika Kain talks art, race and oppressive social hierarchies

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Monday Drive’s Ruth Hessey talks with Indian-born Sydney-based artist Kirtika Kain who examines how oppressive social hierarchies and power structures have been enforced upon and embodied by generations before her, from the perspective of an outsider.

Excerpted from Indian historical archives, Kain incorporates the first English transcription of the implicit codes and regulations that have been lived for centuries. These rules are silkscreened repeatedly with materials that relate to themes of valuation, corporality, ritual and the manual labour of the lower classes including iron filings, gold, vermillion and bitumen. Through diverse alchemical and experimental printmaking processes, Kain attempts to transform the language and these materials into aesthetic object of value; thus, erasing, re-defining and re-imagining a personal and collective narrative.



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