Archana Hande is a Bangalore born, Bombay based artist, curator, and organizer whose work has been celebrated across India and also internationally at important exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Bern, Helsinki Art Museum, the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, and the 2005 Yokohama Triennial. Originally trained as a printmaker at Santiniketan and MSU Baroda, Hande now works in a variety of mediums including installation, drawing, and video.
Hande is well known for her ambitious project from 2002-2009, ‘Arrange your Own Marriage’ at www.arrangeurownmarriage.com, where Hande played off the IT stereotype of her hometown of Bangalore to create a website which explores the religious and sociological tradition of arranged marriages in India in a tongue-in-cheek way (complete with tag lines like “Need a Wife to Get a Life?”), raising questions about the real motivations behind the ancient tradition. ‘Arrange Your Own Marriage’s’ scope spans beyond cyberspace, and an installation that was part of this project debuted at the 3rd Guangzhou Triennial, and other works such as a digital print based calendar series and portrait series from 2009 also stemmed from this clever intervention into Indian tradition. Hande has a knack for turning abstract concepts onto themselves, and several bodies of her work continue in this vein.
Following the ‘Arrange Your Own Marriage’ series, Hande began the ‘Archanadevi Series’ where she explored the idea of “Institutionalizing” and “Museumising” as a form of capital power. In her ‘Archanadevi’ series that employs over a decade of research, Hande deifies herself into a mythical figure whose story is revealed and authenticated through her objects, documents, and photographs. One powerful part of this project, ‘Relics of Grey’ from 2007-2008, places ‘Archanadevi’ in a museum context, instilling a sense of power and reverence around her own existence.
This ability to organize and engage large numbers of people is a talent of Hande’s, and following her work with OPEN CIRCLE in the early 2000s, she was successful in co-curating an ambitious traveling exhibition in India called ‘Cinema City’ along with filmmaker Madhushree Datta. Hande’s own work was also part of this exhibition, and was successful in drawing viewers into the complex idea of image reproduction. In her 2012 work ‘Of Panorama, a Riding Exercize,’ Hande harnessed video animation to create an interactive installation where the viewer could ride a bike contained in the exhibition space and see himself traveling through imaginary horizons, playing off tropes of cinema in the process. Through clever interactive exercizes such as these, Hande is able to bring viewers within her work and change the way they see their place within society.
www.arrangeurownmarriage.com | www.archanahande.com
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