Photo credit: Marc Orhem-Leclef
‘Sweet Maria Monument’ performed by Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan. Photo courtesy Kochi Biennale 2018.
Aryakrishnan Ramakrishnan is an artist and curator based in Kerala, India. They completed their MA in Visual Arts from School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University, Delhi, 2014. Their ongoing project ‘Sweet Maria Monument’ is a monument for a transgender activist and performer who was murdered in 2012 in Kerala, India. The project was showcased in various spaces including Clark House Mumbai  and Kochi Muziris Biennale  and Queer Art Festival, Vancouver .
“I am looking at the Sommerakademie Paul Klee (SPK) programme as an opportunity to get back in to rigorous practice where I can put my insights in to use with a community of other practitioners,” says Aryakrishnan, “A residency programme like this one at Bern, will allow me to gain knowledge from an international community while conceptually and materially reimagining my existing work. This can enable me to create a new body of work and open up a new trajectory in my practice. I wish the critical insights and collaboration possibilities I get from this program will help me to contribute to the field of queer knowledge production in a significant way. I also feel this will help me to revisit my community work with new insights on how to understand and work with institutions and communities.”
“Taking insights from 19th century philosophers/poets in Kerala – Sree Narayana Guru, Poykayil Appachan – and that of black feminist thinkers like Bell Hooks and June Jordan, I want to explore love as a practice of reorienting the self in challenging ways. Narayana Guru talks of care of the self as caring of the others. I want to explore alternate ways of being with each other in the context of care and community. I would like to critically reflect and develop new rituals of compassion and care to mourn for those queer lives we have lost/have been unable to mourn for, or to mourn for those parts of ourselves we have killed off without grieving. I would like to discuss with other artists and my peers about ways of being together and caring for the self and others to create counter narratives to the capitalist mode of living and being.”
Follow Aryakrishnan on Instagram @aryakrish_ra