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Abhishek Khedekar Tamasha 29.02–15.04.24

Abhishek Khedekar, Tamasha


Abhishek Khedekar, Tamasha
18 Newman Street, London W1T 1PE

Abhishek Khedekar, the inaugural winner of the Loose Joints and Mahler & LeWitt Studios residency and book award Publishing Performance, supported by Webber, presents an exhibition of work from his book Tamasha. Khedekar uses sculpture, collage and reappropriation to capture the synaesthesia of a rural Indian working-class spectacle.

Indian artist Abhishek Khedekar’s experimental docu-fiction follows a 100-person nomadic troupe of Dalit ‘families’ performing Tamasha: a travelling form of performance combining dance, music, and visual art dating back to the 1800s. As post-independence India moved away from rural dance and song forms, Tamasha became stigmatised, polarised and relegated in Indian society. Criss-crossing the state of Maharashtra, Khedekar’s images dive into the complexity of this sociocultural fabric with a dizzying array of artistic techniques by utilising archival material, collage, documentary photography, performance, sound and video. Khedekar’s bricolage of experimental visual narratives elevates the make-do, unpretentious attitude of Tamasha performance into a unique aesthetic of song, community and expression: situating Tamasha’s traditions in modern India.

Khedekar is the recipient of Publishing Performance 2022: an artist’s residency and publishing award focused on the intersections of photography and performance. The jury comprised Luis Alberto Rodriguez, Chantal Webber and Mahmoud ‘Mo’ Mfinanga. Khedekar developed his work as artist-in-residence at the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, for a book edited, designed and published by Loose Joints.