Chitra Ganesh

 
 
Chitra Ganesh’s multilayered work makes use of iconography derived from mythic narratives of Hindu, Buddhist, and Greek traditions, in concert with a visual lexicon indebted to comic books, anime, science fiction, and Surrealism. Completed on site by the artist, three large canvas panels form the core of this wall installation, which incorporates elements that punctuate the surface and extend off the canvas into the surrounding space. The pictorial space of the work is equally complex: fragmented bodies of hybrid beings float in a lurid atmosphere, their heads and torsos hovering beside bodies with which they are linked through gestures of touch. The beings that occupy this uncertain space appear as some combination of human, animal, and otherworldly spirit, but they are decidedly female, and Ganesh’s work consistently offers up female protagonists and nuanced articulations of female subjectivity. Inflected by science fiction and queer politics, the female body appears in her work as a kind of battleground—the site of cyborgian mutation and transformation. “I’m interested in how science fiction has become our preeminent contemporary mythology,” Ganesh notes, “probing eternal questions of how we form ideas of identity, civilization, past and future.”
 
 
2011
site-specific wall work on canvas
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. © Chitra Ganesh
2012
mixed media on paper
60 x 40 in
Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco. © Chitra Ganesh