Ram, Rajesh b.1978 / Black Girl
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Ram, Rajesh b.1978 / Black GirlRam, Rajesh b.1978 / Black Girl
about this work
In colonial discourse the term ‘Hybridity’ was problematic, even offensive, referring to those who were products of miscegenation, mixed breeds. In contemporary times, characterized as ‘Global’, a term which touts the idea of one-ness and constructs a community that is intermingled and intricate, hybridity is an empowered term. It has been adopted and adapted by postcolonial cultures into an emancipative position thanks to its advantage of in-betweeness, the straddling of cultures and the consequent ability to negotiate the difference.
Hybridity then provides an interesting idea on which to ponder about the future outcomes of the global discourse. Rajesh Ram’s imagination pushes this mingling and co-dependence to the extreme, he conjures up off-springs that are not just mixed racially but are mixed species – human, animal and vegetal. His creatures satisfy all needs and he sees a future where this may come to pass.
Through the repeated use of vegetables, the construction of bodies as lean from the lack of excess food Rajesh’s work addresses the world food crisis, which has seen record prices for most staple foods, has led to an 18% food price inflation in China, 13% in Indonesia and Pakistan, and 10% or more in Latin America, Russia and India (according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization).
Ram’s work suggests a complex culture, re-organising and re-branding itself as a thriving new superpower. Lofty ambitions and purposeful intentions introduce a wealth of opportunity for many in India while creating dreadful anxieties for the people that are detracted by their circumstances. The artist’s sculpture Black Girl has the figure almost bent double with three arms to her right and other three on her left.
While two hands in front desperately try to hold up the vegetable basket, the other two sway along in synchrony with the two faces sprouting out of her head which are plaited with big bunches of aubergines.
Ram’s figure, elevated to the statuesque, appears to be crippled by the weight of the consequences of the global food crisis. Objects such as vegetables are stuffed into a flimsy wire sack, representing the need for sustenance as global trade. This work celebrates the ordinary person entrenched in a country that is suffocating for its numbers.  

Rajesh Ram (b.1978, India)

Black Girl, 2009

Mixed media (fibreglass, iron, paint)
112 x 119 x 79 cm
44 1/8 x 46 7/8 x 31 1/8 in.
Latitude 28 Gallery, New Delhi, India Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si SculptureSouth Asia


Grosvenor Vadehra Booth
London Art Fair, London, UK
January 2009

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