Pushpamala N. (born 1956 in Bangalore, India) is an independent artist, writer, and curator and one of the pioneering conceptual artists of India. She is known for her strong feminist work, informed by humor, cultural theory, feminist studies, and social science. Much of her work engages with the construction of the feminine and the scaffolding of the nation-state. Starting her career as a sculptor, Pushpamala began using photography and video in the mid-1990s, creating tableaux and photo romances in which she cast herself in various roles. Interested in history and the idea of cultural memory, she cites a wide range of references in her series of masquerades, where she simultaneously inhabits and questions familiar frames from art history, photography, film, theater, and popular culture, thereby placing herself as the artist at the center of social and political inquiry. Often, her work examines historical and colonial constructs and how they are appropriated and used by present-day regimes. Recently, she has been making sculptures again, playing with the discipline of epigraphy and making large archives of objects, addressing history as well as the political issues of today. Her works have been shown widely in India and abroad and taught in universities worldwide. She speaks often in seminars, and her writing has been published internationally.
Pushpamala N, Atlas of Rare and Lost Alphabets, 2015-2018, detail
set of 100 copperplate sculptures, each a unique piece inscribed with rare scripts from the Indian sub-continent, etched onto copper sheets and treated with patinas to look like ancient relics