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15th Anniversary print: George Chakravarthi, Barflies: triptych Polaroid prints

LADA marks its 15th anniversary in 2014, and we are celebrating with initiatives across the year which provide an opportunity to reflect on the seismic shifts in Live Art practices and discourses that have taken place since 1999 through the lens of the Agency and its work. Our anniversary activities include series of new artworks, each in a limited edition of 15, by some of the extraordinary artists we have collaborated with in a variety of ways over the last 15 years.

LADA has worked with George Chakravarthi as Thinker In Residence and on archival and curatorial projects such as Documenting Live and Just Like A Woman.

For LADA’s fifth 15th Anniversary limited edition series, he has produced a mounted triptych of prints derived from his Barflies project.

George Chakravarthi’s artistic practice spans over a decade of live performances, video installations and photographs. Predominantly engaged with the politics of identity and representations of the self, the works often cross and renegotiate the restrictions of space, culture and heritage.

Barflies (video installation 2003) is a seminal three-screen installation performed by Chakravarthi offering representations of the different investments in femininities embodied by Transvestites/Cross dressers, the pleasures, fears and dangers of being in public ‘en femme’ and the particular dialectic relationship they have with the heterosexual male. Barflies was screened most recently for LADA’s Just Like A Woman programme for the City of Women Festival (Slovenia, 2013).

The different styles of Maureen, Claire and Jasmine signify some of the variations found within feminine identities in the Transvestite/Cross-dressing communities. Barflies also highlights the specificity of TV/cross-dressers in relation to public, social spaces. Many women ‘born female’ do not feel comfortable alone in bars because of the threat of unwanted attention from heterosexual men. Being out in a social space such as a bar for most TV/cross-dressers is often celebrated as a triumph, where a mixture of fear and delight may be experienced through a public expression of one’s female self.

Alongside the video installation, Chakravarthi also produced Barflies Polaroid portraits. Like the poetic spirit of Barflies, most Polaroids do not produce usable negatives, and the new limited edition artwork comprises high-resolution scans of these three original Polaroid images.

Proceeds from the print sale will be shared between LADA and George Chakravarthi, supporting both LADA’s artistic programmes and George Chakravarthi’s artistic practice.
Print specifications:

Edition of fifteen, signed and numbered.
Each edition includes three prints on Harman Gloss archival paper with window mount.
Dimensions: images 54cm by 24cm (including mount).


Information on other 15th Anniversary limited editions