Meera George predominantly works in installation and performance art. Her multimedia artworks have been exhibited internationally, including at a workshop for the Pistolleto Foundation at the Venice Biennale in 2003, and at an exhibition in Schöppingen, Germany later that year.
In her latest piece, Still I Rise—to be performed on 13 May at Delhi’s Alliance Française, M.L. Bhartia Auditorium—she addresses the centuries-old tradition of her native homeland, Kerala. Alluding to the traditional nuances of Kathakali, Kalari and Chavittu Nadakam, George weaves a short operatic narrative of four acts involving similar traditions from Japan, influenced during her stint as a resident artist of the Fukuoka Asion Art Museum.
Still I Rise addresses the pronounced caste hierarchies of the place formerly known as Travancore (in the present-day state of Kerala), whose 19th-century social politics operated in complex ways. In this society, attire and adornments served the purpose of acting as caste indicators and “outcaste” women were disallowed from covering their upper body, as part of a tradition whereby the breast was bared as a symbol of respect to higher-status people—a caste marker that would have resonated loudly in the public sphere.
George’s Delhi show has been curated by Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala. The event is presented by the Shalini Passi Art Foundation, which sets out to create a new paradigm for artistic expression in India by supporting experimental and new artistic practices and broadening access to the arts, though its year-round programme of events—including exhibitions, lectures, and awards, as well through the online art platform MASH (My Art Shalini), which showcases emerging artists and provides a comprehensive source of information on global art institutions and events.
The foundation is run by Shalini Passi, a Delhi-based art collector and artist who sits on the advisory board of Khoj (a not-for-profit contemporary arts organization based in Delhi), is a patron of the Foundation of Indian Contemporary Art, and is also an important patron of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale.