Obviously (video, 1 Min 15 Sec, 2012)
'Obviously' is a contradictory subtitle and sound based piece surrounding the cultural ignorance of disability. I aim to answer back to the medical model of disability, reclaiming the ‘disabled’ persons identity. In this piece, all issues surrounding a particular unknown persons life is narrated in a negative manner – the subtitles, written as the exact opposite of the narrated voice, correspond with each sentence creating a black and white distinction between the negative stereotypes and the overtly positive stereotypes. The parallelism of contradictions and truthful descriptions expose the commonalities disabled people share with those considered as ‘able bodied’.
Exhibited at: Ambika P3, London, 2012.
Mixed-Media, Moving-Image and Audio (via Headphones).
1 Minute 31 Seconds (loop)
I invite you to stare, and by doing so, I seek to re-claim the damaging and demeaning misconceptions associated with the lived experience of disability.
By bluntly theatricalising the images associated with the Medical Model of Disability, the story of disability that is often unapologetically demanded by spectators is fractured and disguised with imagery and sounds that aim to confuse and dismember, rather than explain; so, the disabled body, in fact, becomes a critical aesthetic medium rather than an object.
Exhibited: Bonington Gallery, 2015 and COAST Festival, 2014
Short Clip of the first narrative (of three) performed at The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, July 2016. The scripted elements have since changed (during an update for Lyric Theatre in 2019).
In this piece I explore the diagnostic gaze; suggested by Rosemarie Garland Thomson as “the unspoken question behind the stare, the question that inquires, “What happened to you?” This question seeks to affix a diagnosis to a disabled person, catergorising them as safely “other.”
Using subversive humour, fictional and authentic narratives, theatricalization and Brechtian devices, I aim to re-construct and challenge the diagnostic gaze, highlight disability stereotypes and the demeaning and damaging misconceptions surrounding the lived experience of disability. Through this I aim to re-claim control over the terms of the encounter between artist and spectator, so the disabled body, in fact, becomes a critical aesthetic medium rather than an object.
Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, March 2019.
The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, July 2016 and BodySurf, Moray, Scotland August 2016.
Guess What? Tantalising narrative which subverts negative stereotypes of disabled people's sexuality (the stereotype that we are 'non-sexual' beings) to claim the body on stage as Asian, Female, Disabled, Mentally Ill and Bisexual.
Performance and Theatre. 20 mins.
An autobiographical theatrical performance and installation exploring a disabled woman of colour’s experience of the doctor-patient relationship, intersectionality, the disabled female form, memory and subjectivity of identity after trauma, within the complexities and politics of agency and power, in medical institutions.
Performed, created, written and directed by Aminder Virdee during BOP Artists residency at Glasgow with Birds of Paradise Theatre and National Theatre of Scotland, September – December 2017.
Performed at: Rockvilla, National Theatre of Scotland, November 2017 and Wimbledon SPACE, London, March 2018.
Video Documentation Coming Soon…
The updated version of Whats Wrong With You? was performed at the Lyric Hammersmith in March 2019 as a part of Cut The Bakwaas with the Evolution Festival.
#CUTTHEBAKWAAS is an unapologetic coming together and celebration of our diverse, colourful and extraordinary lives that have often been misheard or misunderstood in wider British culture. We will explore our stories through multidisciplinary artworks, and performances from a line- up of inspirational British Asian creatives, articulating what it really means to be British Asian in 2019.