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Sutapa Biswas
When Biswas was twenty one she travelled back to India and revisited the spaces and light of her remembered childhood.

This and other journeys later culminated in a series of photographic work that examined the fetishising of spectatorship typical in Western art. Synapse (1992) a series of large black and white medium format images, not only freeze time forever past - yet resolutely present, but reanimates the historical.

Shot in an infinity space these self-portraits expose a naked Biswas cradled in and imprinted by, projected images from India, erotic statues, monuments, and parts of landscape. The stretch and flow of the image on the skin becomes a multilayered 'Synapses' of cultural references. Her own body in relation to a historical trajectory is further imprinted when the viewer's gaze is reflected in the protective glass. This is not the first time that Biswas has manipulated the viewer in such a way. In her 1990 Sacred Space series an installation in the Slade School of art, the room itself acted as a painting with its brilliant white walls and pastel drawings on large white backgrounds. The active space was in part informed by Robert Rauschenberg's 1951 white paintings whose surfaces respond and change to ambient conditions. Gilane Tawadros has suggested that ' the 'cultural expression of the margins and the periphery represents an aesthetic and political project' explicit in Biswas work.

The implicit resonance of Edward Said's writing on Orientalism, Biswas cultural experiences of being an Indian woman and early memories of seeing films with the beam of the projector creating a dual space - are traces that reside in her fluid and sometimes unsettling Synapses. There is in this work an insistence on a lack of fixidity, explicit in the series title. This allows an oscillation between viewers and viewed, a journey perceived as a knowing metaphor, characteristic of so much of Biswas practice.

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