The Alliance Française of Hyderabad, in collaboration with the Goethe Zentrum Hyderabad and the Vidyasagar Art Center, is presenting a collection of two experimental short films, Paris Autumn and Rashtriy Kheer And Desiy Salad, by N Pushpamala, on 7th December, at the Vidyasagar Art Center in Domalguda.
The second and the last film for the day is Paris Autumn. In Paris, Pushpamala found a 1-room flat at 56, rue Chapon. It was a narrow room in an old building but wonderfully located in the heart, Le Marais. The road is named after a rich merchant, Monsieur Chapon, who owned numerous houses in the 19th century.
Pushpamala's landlord owned the Zurcher Gallery downstairs. Bernard Zurcher, an art historian, unraveled for Pushpamala, the history of the building, which once was the house of Gabrielle d'Estree, the mistress of King Henri IV of France, and dated back to the 16th Century. Gabrielle was supposed to have been poisoned to death in 1599 just before she was to marry to the King.
Against this fantastic background of political, religious and sentimental intrigue of manouvers, sober massacres and Poule au Pot (the casserole chicken promised to all French families by Henry IV), Pushpamala decided to make a video film where she played herself for the first time, in collaboration with Cedric Sartore, a young French photographer, who played an assistant.
21 black and white rolls of film were shot with a still camera. The idea was to make a film like Chris Maker's La Jetee, a moving film from still photographs. The style is noir - a gothic thriller.
The visuals that have been shot are akin to those of a ghost story, where the protagonist Pushpamala finds out that she is haunted by the ghost of an elegantly dressed Parisian woman who appears and disappears and seems to send her a warning or a sign with the signet ring that she hold exactly like Gabrielle d'Estrées in the Louvre painting.
The film is shot in the house rue Chapon, in bars, on the streets and in metros. There is no real story, beginning or end. This historical and current background unwinds either in the form of a voice-over, or inter-titles, or running text as in television news, like a parallel narrative. The story of Pushpamala in Paris unraveling the story of Paris, rue Chapon.
Pushpamala is an alumnus of the Faculty Of Fine Arts, M S University of Baroda, where she trained as a sculptor. She has been collaborating with photographers to produce photo-performance artworks - narratives conceived and directed by her in which she 'acts' as the protagonist. She has also made experimental video films.
Since 1996, Pushpamala has exhibited in major shows nationally and internationally, and is acknowledged as one of India's most significant contemporary artists. This multi-skilled artist took part in numerous famous international group exhibitions, in New Delhi, Los Angeles, Paris, Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Mexico, London and Berlin.
She won the Gold Medal in the VIth Biennale in New Delhi, and received rewards after her residencies in the Charles Wallace Trust Residency in London, in the French Embassy ASAC artist residency in Paris, and in the Rockefeller artist residency at Bellagio study center. In autumn 2005, she stayed in Paris, within the context of an Indo-French program of artist residencies. There she was inspired by the place she lived in, and created Paris Autumn, a short film.
Please contact Alliance Francaise at 2770-0736/2770-0738 or Goethe-Zentrum at 6552-6443/2324-1791 for further details.