S.E.A. Focus returns for its 5th edition from
Friday 6 Jan - Sunday 15 Jan 2023

The Spade

Kawita Vatanajyankur

UHD video, single-channel video
Duration: 8 min 19 sec
Edition of 4

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In The Spade (2020), Vatanajyankur’s body transitions into a hoe or a spade, repetitively digging for almost 9 minutes to adjust the soil conditions within a constructed circular container. The task that Vatanajyankur performs like a parody, a pervasive slippage between human and machine, and foreground the forgotten body within a technologically accelerating world. Beyond this literal translation, her gesture also makes the invisible mechanisms visible, that govern women’s everyday labour. In both contexts, pairing seduction and confrontation, prove a powerful device in Vatanajyankur’s hands—a Trojan horse for tackling entrenched attitudes toward gender, equality and work.

About the Artist

In her practice, Kawita Vatanajyankur body is a conduit for those affected by the blind consumerism that fuels today’s society. She transforms her body into a site upon which issues of labour, feminism, oppression and consumerism are interrogated and challenged. For Vatanajyankur, extreme physical endurance offers a way to free herself from her mind: a mechanism to lose her sense of being.

In her performative videos, Vatanajyankur undertakes various repetitive and strenuous tasks, deliberately objectifies herself into mechanical or domestic tools as she pushes her body to its limits as a testament for human endurance and resilience. The luminous colours in Vatanajyankur’s work are distinctive of the artist's aesthetic, which and tap into a globalized and digitally networked visual language of consumption and instant gratification.

The dark humor and undercurrents of violence that her work deliver bring a universality and contemporary currency to the trajectory of art.

Kawita Vatanajyankur will be presenting her works at Nova Contemporary