Imagine naming your own Gods. Imagine authoring your own life. Imagine believing your body is enough. Imagine valuing the women in your life.
Imagine being this woman.
– Patricia Lynn Reilley (1995)
This August 2014, Gaysi Family and Sharmishta Ray present to you – “Liberation” (2014).
“Liberation” is a video experiment – a Mobius strip of art in action where Sharmistha Ray renders a representation of the female body with charcoal and ink washes in a continuous, hypnotic 3-hour effort. Capturing Sharmistha’s movement, a camera embeds you with her in that space as a viewer, a voyeur and importantly, as a woman.
As primetime rolls around on television and politicians and activists raise their voices on women’s rights yet again, we often overlook the essence of who it is that we debate, negotiate, harass, subject and fight about – We forget the woman.
With this video, Gaysi and Sharmistha strip away the layers of token intellectual reflection on gender and sexuality. “Liberation” shows you the other side – the beauty, the body and a woman looking at herself, so we can appreciate who and who within our own selves we truly fight for.
When asked why this project was important to her, Sharmistha remarked, “The topic of Gender is important to me in my work, and it overlapped with what Gaysi was doing to highlight women in contemporary India. What does it mean to be free? What is freedom? I wanted to broach this topic in a very poetic way. I’ve used the blooming of a rose as a metaphor for the blossoming of a woman, of her coming into her own and reclaiming her freedom. Many may see this work sexually, but to me it’s about rekindling a romance with oneself, with one’s own body and expressing that to the world. The woman is awakened; she is transformed, she is free.”
According to Priya Gangwani, editor of The Gaysi Zine, “In her art and telling, Sharmistha displays a unique ability to capture the dichotomy between the pleasure of looking at oneself as an erotic object and the subject of sexual fantasy.” The upcoming third edition of The Gaysi Zine also showcases Sharmistha Ray’s work.
Together with Gaysi and Sharmistha, watch and share “Liberation” to celebrate what’s good, what’s right and what’s positive. Women are beautiful, let’s celebrate them, let’s honor them, and let’s respect them.