Gallery Ragini invites you to the prelude of the show “Money is my Honey” – A unique exhibition by Siri Devi Khandavilli – using the medium of performance art. Through her performance using new media intervention and herself as the medium, Siri talks about the dynamics of money & society. And through this performance one would understand her journey as an artist.

Gallery Ragini encourages artists who think out of the box and are capable of combining their thoughts, their study and their belief. We support our artists in expressing themselves freely through experimentation with various mediums to make intervention in art. For we believe, that experimentation and freedom enhances the quality of art.

Performance art has been embraced by artists as a means of challenging the very idea of conventional art forms. The expression of performance artists is a direct intervention. The art form might feel ephemeral but its impact is lasting and sublime. The emotion felt during the short period where the artist bares all his/her emotions about the subject leaves a lingering experience for the spectator/audience.

When Siri saw a TV infomercial advertising financial products with the phrase “Get out of Debt Free” it reminded her of an equally absurd phrase often heard, “Eat all you want and still lose weight!” She did a Google search of both these phrases and the search returned 14,500,000 hits! For Siri Google was a tool to look into what “We” as a society are thinking about this thought of being able to “get out of debt free”. For the artist it was a tool to peer into the collective unconscious, a pool of shared experiences among our species, a term of analytical psychology coined by Jung.

Further pondering upon this Siri got interested in the idea of lucky charms, blind beliefs and such- which promise us a way to control our life and gain success without having to work for it. Thus “get out of debt free lucky dollar bill” was born.

The artist signs this work with a self-portraiture as Goddess Lakshmi since her birth name Siri Devi, is taken after the Hindu Goddess of wealth Goddess Lakshmi.

In Sanskrit the name is derived from “Lakshya” meaning objective and Lakshmi, the word in its entirety meaning “a means to achieving objectives”. Lakshmi is also synonymous with money and hence money is a means to achieve objectives, NOT an objective by itself.

For Siri, this dollar bill gently and with humor hints at our personal control and responsibility over our financials.

The economic downturn affected all of us in various ways, what really affected us as a society was reflected in our everyday life and our psyche. The effect primarily on our art market is what motivated the gallery to present this performance.

We as a society stopped reacting to aesthetics, a block which we are still trying to ease out of. The intelligentsia however cultured or educated gets stimulated towards the direction of fine art only with fuller pockets. Money is the driving force of fine arts in any society.

Any society which has art thriving is a direct reflection of a prosperous economy, and this performance drives home the point about the parallel and intertwined dynamics of fine arts and the market forces.

Nidhi Jyoti Jain

VENUE: F- 213 C, Lado Sarai,
New Delhi- 110030

DATE: 11th August 2010

Siri Devi Khandavilli, Lucky Lakshmi Dollar Bill, Mix media installation, 9 feet

Siri Devi Khandavilli, Money is my honey, Print on Archival Paper, 22×15 inches

Siri devi khandiwili, Money is my honey, Print on archival paper, 14×21 inches

Siri devi Khandavilli, Money is my Honey, Print on Archival Paper, 13×12 Inches

Siri Devi Khandavilli, Money is my honey, Print on Archival Paper, 18×12 inches

Siri devi Khandavilli, lucky lakshmi dollar bill, Print on Archival Paper, 15×42 Inches