WE ARE NOT OUR OWN -
About the artists: Anvita grew up in India where the increasing influence of western pop culture was looked upon with derision while emphasis was laid on preserving traditional values. Michelle is of Indian origin, but was born and raised in the United States. After emigrating to the US, her parents strove to inculcate the same traditional values in their children, against the western backdrop. Despite growing up on opposite sides of the world, both artists were raised with staunchly religious principles, affecting their upbringing in surprisingly similar ways. From adolescence to adulthood, each struggled to navigate the intersections of cultural and sexual identity.
Growing up, sex was not a common subject of discourse, but rather an absolute taboo. Notions of sex and shame were unconditionally linked, and often resulted in the camouflaging of adolescent thoughts and behavior. Our bodies were not our own. Governed by the underlying socio-cultural ideology, our lives were constantly dictated by expectations of propriety and decency. The watchful gaze of our families and community compelled us to bury our sexuality under a cloak of activity. Our urges became background noise amongst a symphony of sound.
In this piece, through chaotic patterning, we have attempted to reference a struggle for identity amidst sexual innuendo and pop cultural influences. As was the case while growing up, here language is relegated to an inferior position within the hierarchical structure.