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Digital collages by Ayushi Chaurasia

Self Portrait

An accurate description of an alternate reality, had I combed my hair as many times as my grandmothers expected me to.

**On a walk along my neighborhood, I found a cacti escaping from the ground, reaching just above the 1st floor of a house, never had I seen a cacti as tall as this one. I reached out to the camera of my phone.** I have curly hair, and when I was young, the ladies of the house took it as a responsibility to tame my sacred wilding. If mummy were going out of town, only a few brave women offered to comb my mane in the morning for school. As I became responsible for my wilding, I hardly ever comb my hair, partly in rebellion and partly because of the fear of losing my curls. My grandmothers still remind me that open curly hair invite demons to live inside of you. So as a result, many demons started living in me and one of them in fact pieced this collage together a showcase of an alternate reality.

Pakeeza'a dead lover

This artwork emerged over a period of 4 months. In April 2020, I discovered the beauty of Kamal Amrohi's 1972 movie Pakeeza, in a frame from the famous song, 'Chalte Chalte' I found a pair of eyes staring back at me. The first thing I did was to paint those eyes in watercolor in my sketchbook. I might have removed the frame out of its cinematic context, as painting these set of eyes was a catharsis of my anger which has been twisting and turning inside my body since long. From the tip of my fingers it flowed into the surface of the paper. Despite the risk of bad branding, I painted into the night, because you see in houses like mine working during the night is not what good girls do. In September 2020, I digitally added more elements to it, such as the cloud of steam that evaporates dangerously in my head, the architecture of my pointed 'gussewali' nose, the curtains of my lips through which anger escapes in the form of harsh words, screams, shivers as cold as the moon. Anger is a vulnerable, forbidden and bed ridden emotion that women like me do not know how to deal with. What is the safest way to deal with it, anyway? It remains unresolved ever since my mother passed away in a brutal accident in February 2019.

The First Modernist

Perhaps the first modernist was the woman who was trying to adjust the rope in between urban poor ditches, hanging freshly washed wet clothes, while looking at a vast cityscape of fleeting architecture.

Perhaps the first modernist was the milk personnel dreaming about the big dream of milk business in the city, counting the eggs before they hatch.

The different residues of time aka architecture will always be a reminder of modernity, where ornate finds itself next to brutal while brutal saddened by its steep edges envies the inconvenient curves of jhuggis.

Pressed Flowers Bageecha

This is what human beings have in store for nature, they press it under the weight of printed paper. They are obsessed with memento mori. They are obsessed with preserving old glory of dead men (sometimes living as well) in the form of ashes, architecture and arabesque (of terrestrial indigenous materiality). Then there is this colonial human tendency, scratch that, condition to explore the other side of sky, introducing heavenly matter to earthly matter. No matter what they do, catastrophe always follows. The industry of preserving evidence of catastrophes for the sake of history of death is magical just like the primitive indigenous instincts to attach rituals to death. So to remind themselves of their own impending doom they press nature under the weight of printed paper. Here, is an aimless wandering in the form of a collage, a mix of analog collage with digital collage that has got nothing to do with the text whatsoever (or does). If you've reached here, congratulations. Scroll down steadfast.

Virtual Meeting

A virtual meeting over the cloud.

Vaishnavi discussing work with her plant friends whom she forgot to ask for water. At this precise moment she is visited by a pheasant she made friends with in the zoo. All this happens in the ever present sky with important pillars built by Guptas (400BCE) and Asaf-ud-Daula (1784). while all institutions fall down, many people from so many time periods meet in 2020 when meetings are only possible virtually. So this is a virtual meeting.

No Parking

No Parking signage will never be taken seriously.

There is a notorious air about existing with gadgets, signboards, iconography and symbols. This existence amounts to tremendous lethargy at the levels of consumption and production. The lethargy related to noticing and understanding the gadgets, signboards, iconography and symbols because there is tremendous amount of notorious lethargy related to producing these gadgets, signboards, iconography and symbols. I imagined this as an everyday rebellion against the already published rules. We establish these pieces of rebellion against the thoughts, wishes and philosophies of our immediate suppressing environments. Sometimes these acts of rebellion are insignificant and lame but it always aligns the mind to thinking about who is setting the rules and why?

Omnibus ki Ticket

M & M in unison: Bhaiya celestial omnibus ki do ticket dena.

Every Friday M&M embark on a new adventure. Today they got in touch with the archives of EM Forster to get the direction to the celestial omnibus depot. Across the signboard, they rub their eyes twice. People think its a joke and the police thinks it was a mischief of some wicked women who practiced witchcraft. But here are M&M, buying tickets from the depot. This journey holds promises, what if they meet someone special and tasty or what if they find a cure to human insanity. But I know that they only embark on this adventure to extend their lazy day dreamy self to the celestial space. In that bag under M's head is an unopened bottle of wine. God they are extra. In all tomfoolery, it is best to leave the earth in an omnibus that carry many diverse things rather than a spaceship that only carries a singular notion of existence. Omnibus also brings you back. You can ask M & M, how their journey was once they return.

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