Abhishek Khedekar: Tamasha
Indian artist Abhishek Khedekar's experimental docu-fiction follows a 100-person nomadic troupe of Dalit 'families' performing Tamasha: a travelling form of performance combining dance, music, and visual art dating back to the 1800s. As post-independence India moved away from rural dance and song forms, Tamasha became stigmatised, polarised and relegated in Indian society. Criss-crossing the state of Maharashtra, Khedekar's images dive into the complexity of this sociocultural fabric with a dizzying array of artistic techniques by utilising archival material, collage, documentary photography, performance, sound and video.
Khedekar's bricolage of experimental visual narratives elevates the make-do, unpretentious attitude of Tamasha performance into a unique aesthetic of song, community and expression: situating Tamasha's traditions in modern India.
Khedekar is the recipient of Publishing Performance 2022: an artist’s residency and publishing award focused on the intersections of photography and performance. Khedekar developed his work as artist-in-residence at Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, for a book to be edited, designed and published by Loose Joints.