Being Black - Solo representation by Amritah Sen

Date: Saturday 16th November 2013 to Saturday 7th December 2013, Time: 11 am to 7 pm (closed on Sundays)

Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Amritah Sen
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Curotorial note:

“His brow is deeply lined with thought, his head is highly domed;
His coat is dusty from neglect, his whiskers are uncombed.
He sways his head from side to side, with movements like a snake;
And when you think he's half asleep, he's always wide awake.”

“Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity.
His powers of levitation would make a fakir stare,
And when you reach the scene of crime—Macavity's not there!
You may seek him in the basement, you may look up in the air—
But I tell you once and once again, Macavity's not there!”

Unlike T.S. Eliot’s Macavity, Amritah Sen’s cat is black – and the poor chap brings with him all the connotations of evil, curiosity and ill-luck. When you are dealing with a character as complex as the black cat , there are things that have to be taken into account, ambiguity being one of them. And so we see the cat as simultaneously endearing, evil and in an instant, find ourselves siding with him in his activities and investigations.

The story unfolds in its many layers of paper and image – there is much to read, there is much to follow as we traverse the path of the ill-fated , curious yet resourceful and plucky cat. We form our own logic, we tell our own tale.

“Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity,
For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square—
But when a crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!”

Oh, but our black cat isn’t a monster of depravity. Or is he? I look closer. And the closer I look , the more that cat looks like me. He may look like you too. I fear that cat may just be turning the mirror on us.

Black means a different thing to each of us at different times. Night falls and we hide and discover. Day dawns, and blackness is exposed yet further.  All cats are black by night;  there are some who are black by day too.
 
Unbeknownst to me, as I follow the cat through  mazes
and windows, shining a torch, living vicariously off others’ joys and misfortunes, deriving salacious pleasure, empathizing at times, being gutted in the process, I find the cat has turned into me.

The disguise and the transformation is complete.

                                                                                                                                Manjari Chakravarti