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Studio: Pushpamala N.

Return of the Phantom Lady (Sinful City)

A Photo-Romance, Pushpamala N. 

Archival inkjet prints, 20 x 30 in, 2012

Suchismita Ukil   |   Pushpamala N.  |  


Often referred to as 'the most entertaining iconoclast of contemporary Indian art', Pushpamala N. attempts to subvert the dominant discourse through her photo and video performances. She studied sculpture at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, and is known for her strong feminist aesthetic and embracing of multiple realities. This is a still from the Return of the Phantom Lady, and a sequel to Phantom Lady or Kismet (1996--98), which is a black-and-white photo essay shot in film noir and exhibited as a photo-romance. The artist assumes the roles of the Phantom Lady on her second adventure and her lookalike, her lost twin, the Vamp. Caught again in a web of murder, intrigue and foul play in contemporary Mumbai, the heroine reprises her role to rescue an orphaned schoolgirl. Shot also in the style of film noir, in colour this time, and layered with cinematic references, the photo series recalls the rich baroque of old movie halls.

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