Aktion with a Male Body:  Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada

Multi-media performance at Artist Space, 5 minutes

Projection, sound, 3 actors


Aktion with a Male Body: Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada performed at Artist Space in 2008 marked my first public multi-media performance and continues my explorations of the transformed and grotesque body within historical moments of crisis. The multi-media piece moves between post-war Austria of the 1960's and our contemporary moment of war, offering a new way of looking at Rudolph Schwarzkogler's work, while reflecting on the impact of technologies on our present individual and collective bodies.

Considering that war can now be created and watched from a vast distance, Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada addresses a collapse of this distance and attempts a recovery of the bodies we have separated ourselves from. An audio component features the voice of Shahzada, a former Guantanamo detainee and tribal elder from Afghanistan known through the camp for his sad and beautiful singing voice. The songs are based on lines of poetry smuggled to him by fellow inmates.

Dummyboards, Domestic and Monumental




Dummy Boards," also known as "Silent Companions" began with the Dutch Trompe l'oiel tradition of tricking the viewer with the presentation of illusionistic space. This was sometimes achieved on panels created in the shape of the figure or object being painted. Dummy boards were often of servants  and were placed in domestic settings such as drawing rooms or in front of fireplaces. Part of their function was to trick the visitor into thinking someone was standing in the shadows of a room.


Taking dummy boards, which have mutated into a vernacular painting form, I am changing them again, in scale and purpose so that they recast the role played by the "servant,"  or colonial subject in relation  to power and history.  My dummy boards, or 3-dimensional paintings have fronts, sides and backs and extend the boundaries and relationship between painting and sculpture and use the genre of ethnographic/ colonial photography and contemporary media images as source material. The work's form simultaneously presents and negates illusion as the viewer moves toward and away from it's center.




A Brief Hstory of Flagellation




A small series of gouache works on book pages taken from a nineteenth century illustrated book written by an English reverand on the history and uses of corporal punishment, titled Flagellation and the Flagellants:  A Brief History of the Rod in all Countries from the Earliest Period to the Present Time.

Measured Bondage


© 2017 by Rajkamal Kahlon