The Other Soldiers 2020

Site specific installation at Goa Open Arts 2020
Digital photographic prints on backlit transparent media

Clay sculptures painted with acrylic

Change is constant and inevitable, leaving in its wake the residue of what was, lingering like a stain under the evidence of what is. With my other soldiers, I am playing the role of the change maker, transforming and recreating a narrative through the form of the ‘uniformed sentinel’ a commonplace figure found atop gate posts and roofs on Portuguese era and post-colonial homes. What started as a playful embellishment of the statues became a transformative act that began to question the very idea of the ‘uniform’. What is the accepted visual language of authority and guardianship? Who plays the role of the protector? My other soldiers are vanguards of change, wearing new skins that challenge the tyranny of the stereotype, the expected and the ‘normal’. They celebrate ‘otherness’, and open up the role of protection and authority to less predictable characters. In the photographs, they emerge from decaying settings that allude to the fast-disappearing history of their original provenance. While some poignantly protect the remnants of their decrepit colonial past, other soldiers are morphing into new freakish beings.

First exhibited at Goa Open Arts festival, Goa,  2020

 © 2018 by Gopika Chowfla

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