Gauri Gill Untitled from the series Acts of Appearance 2015-ongoing

  • Not on view

Gauri Gill created the series Acts of Appearance in close collaboration with members of an Adivasi (indigenous) community in Jawhar district, Maharashtra, India. The region is renowned for its papier-mâché objects, including traditional sacred masks depicting deities. These masks are worn during the Bahoda festival, a ritual celebration observed by members of the Kokna tribe. After reflecting upon the possible distance between such traditions and the everyday realities of the present-day Jawhar community, Gill approached local artists and asked them to collaborate with villagers to create a new set of masks that resonated with their own lives. They made masks of familiar people, animals, or objects. Gill and her collaborators then composed scenes of them and others wearing the masks while engaging in routine activities, often improvising as they went. With this approach, the artist hoped to prompt the mask-makers to think about “what happens when we choose to self-reflexively ‘play ourselves’ or enact the things we do unthinkingly most of the time.”

Additional text from Seeing Through Photographs, online course, Coursera, 2020
Inkjet print
23 1/2 × 15 11/16" (59.7 × 39.8 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Robert B. Menschel
Object number
© 2024 Gauri Gill

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