Nepali Times Asian Paints
Review
Being a goddess


PRANAB MAN SINGH


KAILASH SHRESTHA

The show was raw, spontaneous and captivating. It was everything one would expect from a Tracey Rose performance. Her slightly disturbing, sonically wild video installation, currently being displayed as part of the international art festival, 'Separating myth from reality - status of women', provided a reasonably accurate teaser.

The South African did not disappoint, but nonetheless betrayed a superficial understanding of local culture, a trend that seems to be too easily forgiven in contemporary (dare I say 'post-modern') art.

Tracey Rose's performance at Moksh on Sunday embodied the satire and irony of being an artist, her role as a guest artist, and the touristic nature of her presence in Nepal. These very real, very personal experiences that are a part of her being in Nepal came out as genuine and captivating. However, in terms of an understanding of Nepali culture and traditions, she reiterated the standard schema of western pseudo-intellectualism that backpackers and development workers alike tend to adopt.

This could have been intentional, but given the sincerity of the performance, it is highly unlikely. However, in failing to understand what it means to be a goddess, she does capture the essence of the modern day hyper-real televised goddess.

During her time in Nepal, Tracey Rose will be playing out the role of the goddess - not the mythical eastern goddesses, but the mythical goddesses of the silver screen - Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

The simple life came to the third world and unsurprisingly didn't understand it at all. Tracey Rose tried to be a goddess and for 15 minutes on the sunken stage in Moksh she became one, but not the kind she was looking for. But it is perhaps the irony of her failed quest that made the performance worthwhile.

Undoubtedly a gifted performer, her dedication to her role as an artist is her strongest asset. A performance like hers is a rarity in Nepal and those who missed it missed a display of the true potency of art.



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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