Body as Achieve | New Delhi| 5-12 December 2018

Co-curators: Hediyeh Azma & Sumedha Bhattacharya

Video Maker: Mehran Golmohammadi

Installation: Aida Mirza khani & Marzie Jafarpour

Artists Collaborating: Asqar Faridi Masouleh, Aalieh Forouqi, Mohsen Goudarzi

Performers in the video: Yegane Kamarkhani, Rojin Mansouri, Yasmin Vafaei, Hediyeh Azma, Shabnam Kermani


Living in the world of ‘forced’ amnesia, we are constantly told what to remember, what to forget, what story to tell and re-tell. The idea of memory, history and its subsequent re-enactment becomes problematic.

This memory when accumulated, preserved and retrieved over a body, creates a bodily archive. Through parallel explorations of Indian classical and Iranian national dance, we explore the primary source: body as archive.

It is the classical/national dance which has witnessed an oral transmission of a fixed pedagogical knowledge. It is the classical/national dance where there is a constant strife between what the body is told to remember and what the body actually remembers.

Body as Archive attempts to know this particular classical body at a particular time with particular motivations through unique enactment in the curatorial space. This project re-defines what is understood as archive and what is understood as re-enactment and also discover whether the curatorial space could be the point of intersection of the tangible and the intangible, the frozen and the ephemeral, the remembered and the forgotten.

The key question still remains: Can memory be frozen or imposed?

Co-curators Sumedha Bhattacharyya and Hediyeh Azma together and parallelly attempt to explore and provoke the politics of their own body as dance practitioners and curators with an archival lens of Indian ‘Classical’ dance Kathak and Iranian ‘National’ dance. Through a time-distorting, multi-media performance installation, the dancer’s body accesses and adds to archive of collective memories of Kathak and Iranian dance artists. Broader notions of history, truth and memory are evoked by the curators as dance practitioners, through an artistic identity that is traditional, but an embodied existence that is contemporary.