Kirtika Kain

Lustration (from Latin lustratio, “purification by sacrifice”), features a large-scale silkscreened drawing developed on site over a week-long period. The work is influenced by methods of the Situationist International group, who created expanded three dimensional drawings that were methodically planned yet spontaneously executed. The activist group would cut and collage city maps, retaining sites of unconscious intensity and link them with red arrows to create new blueprints of urban spaces.

Similarly, the process of creating this exhibition has been an active way of thinking through the mapping of holy sites and places of worship. The Hindu temple is traditionally modelled on the body parts of the cosmological primordial man, whose proportions provide the template for the temple plan. I attempt to create the blueprint of a sanctum through collaging Hindu diagrams of rituals and sacrifices, ancient cosmographic charts and architectural plans of temple sites and altars. I have screenprinted these in the gallery using the imprint and proportions of my own body.

This exhibition is an initial attempt to expand ongoing themes of my practice in a space. I am interested in the reclamation of sites that have been historically denied to Dalit bodies because of their association to ritual impurity and pollution, and the role of art spaces and museums in elevating and making visible these neglected histories. It is also an opportunity to indulge in my obsession with the violent and sensual qualities of religious sindoor pigment, used by Hindu women and in religious rituals.