Artists' Television Access

Mera Nam Emerging

Recent Works by Indlan American Artists

Thursday, January 1, 1970, 12:00 am, $8

Alliance of Emerging Creative Artists (AECA) features an evening of innovative writing and film by Summi Kaipa and Kirthi Nath. Kaipa and Nath are two Bay Area emerging Indian American women artists who”s work experiments with integrating arts practices with cultural context to better express the inter-connectedness and the complexities of ebbing and flowing between many spheres as a person of color.

“Mera Nam (meaning My name is& in Hindi, India”s national language) Emerging” suggests a confluence of many elements with impending synthesis, the metamorphosis of new names and a construction of new identities. As a programmatic theme, “Mera Nam Emerging” is multi-directional just like Kaipa and Nath”s unique artistry, which creates new spaces to explore the subtle nuances of cultural identity and the innovation of new art vehicles to speak to self as artist, self in relation to culture, culture and mainstream American aesthetics, and the role of woman artist of color in creating new cultural and art forms to engage these elements in times of hyper-pluralism within the constructs of a male-gravital world.

The Program:

Summi Kaipa will read from Was. Or. Am. The work began as an exploration of notions of beauty within Emily Dickinson s poem I Died for Beauty. The work has since expanded into including Kaipa s own experiences in Chennai, India and the Unveiling of Draupadi, a section in the Indian epic The Mahabharata in which, a husband loses his wife s honor in a game of dice.

Films by Kirthi Nath:

the to do list confessions, 16 mm color film. May 2001, 15 min 15 sec.
Utilizing innovative approaches to sound, image and storytelling, “the to do list confessions” poetically and poignantly engages what it feels like to be a woman encountering the world as a conglomerate of perceptions. Interlaced between a woman in San Diego, CA who dreams she is a woman following another woman through the streets of Paris and the women in Paris, the film articulates experiences of the self through movements, gestures, and sounds that shift between single and multiple protagonists for an always slippery and shifting experience of one”s self in time and space.

2:38, video, Sept 1999, 3 minutes
“2:38” explores a single moment, widening into a state of mind, a mood. A girl, time and space. sound pushes memory into a landscape of play.

yours, 16 mm black and white, February 1999, 7 min 20 sec
A family is moving out of their apartment. “yours” delves into the question- when you are part of family, what is “yours”, what is “ours”? With quiet and rhythmic gestures, “yours” explores how each family member deals with the move. What do they want to remember and experience, and what do they want to leave behind. “yours” unfolds how each family member deals with the move, speechlessly revealing how they feel about each other.

A Conversation with the artists hosted by Tisa Bryant:
After the reading of poetry and the screening of films, audience members are invited to some concessions and meet the AECA member artists. Then writer Tisa Bryant will host a conversation between the artists about the thematic backdrop of this program, the implications behind Mera Nam Emerging or My Name is Emerging : innovative and experimental, women of color, the artists work in relation to mainstream Indian American culture, and the landscape of arts support for unconventional work, in addition to the evolution of an artist philosophy that is experimental and the ideas behind their work. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions and speak candidly about their ideas an effort in activating an audience to better understand challenging artistic work.

Artist Biographies:

Summi Kaipa received her MFA from the Iowa Writers” Workshop in 1999. She has since published several chapbooks including The Epics (published by Leroy), which explores the events of the Mahabharata alongside autobiographical, political, and popular events. Her critical and creative works have been published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian, In These Times, St. Mark”s Poetry Project Newsletter, Fourteen Hills Review, Tinfish, Kenning, Rhizome, as well as many others. Kaipa is also the editor of Interlope, a magazine devoted to innovative writing by Asian Americans. She recently received the 2002 Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize with writer/educator Eileen Tabios for the project, “Intercept: To Thwart, Cradle, Exchange,” promoting Asian American literary artists in the Bay Area.

Kirthi Nath is a writer, filmmaker and educator. Both her writing and her films reveal her intrigue and obsession with questions of the self, boundaries, memory and desire, and how this cross-sects with the sensual experience of a moment. Nath s work speechlessly widens gestures of love. Her writings have appeared in several publications, including Interlope, Berkeley Poetry Review, and 30 ft. Honey Slick. Her films have shown in several festivals including Moondance International Women”s Festival, San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, Berkeley Women of Color Festival and Ladyfest (Olympia, WA and Scotland). She completed her MFA in the Visual Arts graduate program at the University of California, San Diego and currently lives in S.F. In addition to writing and making films, Kirthi is also an active member in the art community. She has appeared on several panels, been guest juror for film festivals and is currently an organizing member for Ladyfest Bay Area 2002, 3rdI and AECA.

Tisa Bryant was born in Tucson, AZ, in 1966, and was raised in and around Boston, MA. She has conducted creative writing workshops in high schools and colleges, and has curated film programs, panel discussions, and visual arts shows in collaboration with community-based organizations. Her work has appeared a number of journals and anthologies, including Blithe House Quarterly, Chain, Children of the Dream (Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster, 1999), clamour: a dyke jourine,How2, shellac, and Step Into A World (John Wiley & Sons, 2000). Recent writing will appear Fall 2001 in the anthology Hatred of Capitalism, from Semiotext(e). A+Bend Press published her prose chapbook, Tzimmes, in 2000. Ms. Bryant is currently at work on a novella, Letters to Regret, a novel, Zoo Kid, and on Playing House, a collection of creative non-fiction focusing on women s art, labor and education. She lives in San Francisco.

For more info: email [email protected] or call 415/260-3153

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