Celibacy is a cultural perception with multiple dimensions to it. This is an auto-suggestion that one is imposed upon from religious and political corners, after certain sensory experiences. At the same it is but natural that there will be a biological imbalance when there is a self-inducted celibacy since instincts like hunger, sleep and procreation are natural instincts.
Man and woman get involved with power play, man dominates and construes a structure within which he controls woman. It is human tendency to nurture the freedom to articulate that which he owns. As soon as a woman is under his control, he consumes her as his own property. It is also natural for him to claim a sole-proprietorship on that which he owns. Since he can control her almost spontaneously, her love, faith and believes occupy a secondary position in his thought process. The society that stresses on her virginity, has ignored his unedited sense of freedom. Recently, a particular country has abolished ‘virginity restoration’; and consequently implies that a woman is not sexually totally free.
This work of art has been largely inspired by the famous Telugu revolutionary and septic writer Thaapi Dharmaraya’s book “Inupa Kachchadalu” ( kannada translation : “kabbinada kaachagalu” – S. Ragunath) The title of my work, ‘Iron Panties’ was inspired by this literary work and the medium steel from the contemporary steel age. During early ages steel was used as a substitute metal by the middle class people for the copper and bronze utensils by the upper class men. Iron panties were often made of silver and and at times decorated with pearls and gems for the rich. Demanding for such panties was not different from demanding other jewels and accessories as far as it was considered a prestige issue. One of the other major factors could be the fundamentalist imposed customs which later turns into practice and lead to a stage of basic necessity. The things that were once objects of control later transformed into a demand taking pseudo ideas of supports like protection/rape prevention . With the age medium changed from silver to iron to synthetics with the stagnated smell of age old thoughts.
In this work ( 4feet height and 2feet circumference) the Lingakara/Penis like structure is used to show casing the panties is a representation of male construct world .Commercialization of such materials led to the launching of such vagina cuffs to create a phallus idea of necessity in human beings. Business versed social ethics with the male ideologies .The hanged panties depicts this kind of male control over the female.
My works reflect on the fact that woman has been treated inhumanely by man since ages; and has constricted her sexually, reminds of its intensity to her time and again. Even now, my work renew this project of reflecting on gender inequality so as to appropriate it.//
This work exhibited at Chitrakala Parishath, College of fine Art Bengaluru 2014/15 Annual show.
Photography Credit : Suprith C.Y.
Support : H.A Anil Kumar, Lokesh B.H, Praveen Balasubramanyam, Saraswathi