Although I am not an expert
on Shakespeare, (I have possibly read Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, know that
Othello is Moorish and that Elizabeth Taylor played Cleopatra alongside her
husband Richard Burton’s Mark Anthony), Chakravarthi’s ‘Thirteen’ for me certainly captures the idea of a historical / iconic figure
entombed for prosperity, meshed with the knowledge that you are viewing the
portrait of a fictional Shakespearean character.
The not quite real or earthly, staring at us from another realm.
Of his beautiful ‘self
portraits’ imbued with transparent layers, which he has created using moulds,
cobwebs, feathers, tree bark and precious stones, I think my favourite is that
of Eros. Although Chakravarthi’s
portrait as Brutus is questionably the most powerful in terms of the image as a
portrayal of a character from Ancient Rome described in Shakespeare.
guises of Romeo and Juliet seem to resist being dissolved away into the fabric
of time. Like a memory with us and yet not.
Lady Macbeth, Chakravarthi looks out at us from the madness of her murderous
Chakravarthi cleverly uses these portraits to mark the 450th
anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth in a very poignant way to discuss identity
politics and contemporary attitudes to suicide.
I am really much more interested in modern fiction than in classical literature but having seen Chakravarthi’s interpretation I feel a little more inspired to read some of those famous Shakespearean works.
Posted by Cheryl Baty. Posted In : Exhibitions & events