Chingari Chumma / Stinging Kiss

2000, Color/Sound, DV, 8:30, In collaboration with Tejal Shah
Chingari Chumma is a fairytale phantasy which dives head first into the spaces of desire that remain unaddressed in the popular culture that Bollywood constructs. Here is a typical Hindi film climax from the 80’s – the heroine has been abducted by the bandit and is taken to his den where he invariably ties her up, or makes her dance; the hero comes just in time to save his beloved, before the villain can commit the ultimate atrocity. We engage the language of these films and mainstream pornographic movies, in order to complicate the formulaic narrative and destabilize the archetypal relationships that are played out within them. While performing the problematic, we set up a consensual fantasy where gender and sexual expectations are not in congruence, thus displacing the viewer’s subject position. We enter a queer world where nothing is fixed any longer. The pendulum of the narrative swings between the traditional male rape fantasy of the dacoit and an unveiling of the unarticulated sexual desire of the heroine, both characters being played by the collaborating artists. We serve this up to you, hot and piping, with heavily aestheticized music and high camp.


In A Plain Brown Wrapper: Pornography, Art And Video, Gallery 2, SAIC, Chicago, 2000
Wink: Up & Cumming Pornographers, SAIC & The Leather Archives & Museum, Chicago, 2000
Lesben Film Festival, Berlin, 2001
Mix, the 14th New York Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival, New York, 2001
Self: Contemporary Indian Video Art, Institute Of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2002
Sarai New Media Lab, Friday Screening, New Delhi, 2003
Queer Zagreb Fm, Croatia, 2004
Indian Video Art: History In Motion, Crossing Vision-II, Artists’ Gallery, Fukuoka Asian Art MuseuM, Fukuoka, Japan, 2004
Indian Summer, L’ Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 2005
Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, 2006
Saturday Live, Tate Modern, London, 2006
We Love Cinema, Centre for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, 2007
Everywhere – LGBTQ Politics in Art, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela, 2009
24 Reasons We Still Need Superman, Video Art Touring Festival, Galerie Mirchandani+Steinrucke, 2010
Progress Reports, Invia (Institute of International Visual Arts), London, 2010
Department of Radio/TV/Film, University of Texas, Austin, 2012
Wallfly, Goa, India, 2014