Katharina Kakar works in a variety of media, including drawing, installation, text and video. Her creations engage with the spaces she works and lives in, often in an attempt to understand collective history through personal narratives. She examines characteristic traits and complex meanings of materials that are without tradition in the context of art: dried fish, chilies, spices, ash, plastic garbage, to name a few. She shows a pronounced interest in sensing and perceiving the cultural attributes intrinsic to the materials she uses. With her installations and objects, she discovers moments of contradiction, of alienation, and of repetition.
The role of the female and her place in society is often central to Kakar’s work, linking her to historical and social issues. The artist’s current work tells multiple stories about women, that emerge from her own personal sense of India, an India she has experienced for the last 20 years, as a writer, an academic, an artist.
Kakar’s work has a distinct language and acts as a cultural signifier. She often uses her own body to create what she refers to as “visual bodies” to investigate cultural beliefs about gender and uncover what is buried underneath.
At present, she is working on visual diaries and issues of presence and absence, as well as human intervention in nature, a body of work that will emerge in the next two to three years.
Katharina Kakar is the founder of the NGO Tara Trust (2008), that engages with the empowerment of marginalized children through art (www.taratrustindia.com). She is further the founder of “Kakar Art Collective” (2017), an artist-led collective based in Goa, India, which intends to work in collaboration with anthropologists, curators, writers, dancers and poets on experimental projects.
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