As an immigrant in the United States, originally from formerly colonized India, I am compelled, both personally and academically, by the subjects of identity and politics. Working in the mediums of photography, video, installation, sculpture, and new media, my ongoing body of work, which goes by the collective name of Pre/Post/Eros, explores the transition from postcolonialism to neocolonialism, with special attention paid to history, capital, and spectatorship. Within this series, my most recent work deals with the issue of labor and is attentive to the shifts that mark this subject, not only temporally across history, but also spatially, as it manifests across geopolitical borders and, more immediately the space of the gallery. As is often the case, this work functions self-reflexively and reflects an awareness of my labor as artist and the way art – my product – functions within institutional spaces. Often, my art exists both in both physical spaces, such as galleries, and virtual spaces, such as those “found” online; however, in either case, my work is consistently in dialogue with its own formal properties and the spaces and mechanisms of display. My work literally and conceptually interrogates the apparatus, the tool, the image-maker, the agent, the laborer, the product, and the politics of its own making. Imbued with humor, futility, and violence the pieces occupy a precarious position between being a parody of “socialist nostalgia,” and an expression of sincere concern towards exploitation of labor.
My materials include physical objects, as well as data and image sources, such as readymades, scans, products, computer generated product images, declassified army documents, educational documentary films, and stock photography- all fluid signifiers of history, economics, and culture. Yet, it is important to stress that my work is not indifferent to aesthetics and actively works to seduce the spectator through the languages of advertising and industrial design, making use of a saturated palette and a clean, fetishistic presentation of the object. However, these seductions ultimately fail to satisfy because, in my work, the viewer is deliberately implicated by the socio-political content of the work, which often addresses imbalances in power.