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A new exhibition, titled ‘Touch’, by Navjot

For her first installation exhibit in two years, Navjot pushes the viewing experience a step further with four multimedia interactive sculptures that engage, question and provoke. "The idea and the need for communicating with people through the process of making art has always fascinated me," says the artist, who describes the experience of working on the video installation as a holistic, spiritual and healing process for her.

Navjot brings to her work a sense of social commitment. She has once stated: 'My work has re-tracked the familiar terrain of questioning various frameworks of social injustice and violence, transmuting my concerns to the intimate, often hidden private lives of women. They are sculptures that speak, that address the burning questions of the inequalities that exist in society, especially with relation to the female of the species."

Her central piece for the latest show, which continues till the April end, is a multi-projection video work. An accompanying note mentions: 'It's an intensely personal piece that inspects the desire, need and significance of touch as a kind of communication with and through the body.' The artist elaborates: "For me, it represents the intimacy of sensation and feeling which I perhaps miss intensely now, after the loss of my partner/ husband."

She believes that a person can redefine his or her existential profile by transforming the association of desire with a person and a space. The narrative here is not linear, but there is a sense of the erotic nature of fantasy, which may tell a story.

"I have looked at the subject from a personal as well as in a larger socio-cultural perspective. References from Claude Levi-Strauss 's Structural Anthropology, for example helped understand the emergence of the rule of exogamy enforced by incest restriction and how the passage from a state of nature to a state of culture occurred," she adds.

There are also references from contemporary films and the work's concept is also metaphorically expressed through contemporary dance and visuals recreated from footage shot by the artist and stills of performance and installation art by various other artists.

Navjot uses her art to offer invaluable insight into the plight of women in a predominantly patriarchal society. She quips: "I frontally pit my work against the questions of sexuality and violence, where the body does not remain the traditional site for the exercise for power, but is posited as an instrument of resistance, inscribed in the palimpsest of images I use," explains Navjot about the powerful impact of her figures.

They are not just immobile bodies but capable of acting on their own behalf with determination and guile according to the situations they find themselves in. She views instances of identification and reflection, investigating more than just one level of experience. Although the woman in her work is structured in discursive practices, she nonetheless exists as thinking, feeling subject and social agent, capable of resistance and innovations produced out of the clash between contradictory subject positions and practices, the artist clarifies.

Navjot's technical expertise and the variety of materials she employs ensure that her creations are a visual delight as well as being social statements of issues close to her heart. Explaining her intention for the interactive nature of the work, Navjot says, "By inviting and involving people in the process of creating and enacting imagery according to their perceptions, I believe the performers and non-performers have entered into the work and have become an extension of the artist's visualization at one level and have added their own perceptions at another."

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