Mirror Swastik Performance, in front of Eiffel Tower, Paris 2011
SWASTIKA TRIUMPHANS THE HAKENKREUTZ BECOMES A SHADE
The word “swastika” is derived from the Sanskrit “su” meaning “well” and “asti” meaning “being.”
Swastik Performance . From 2009-2010 Marcus Wood was Artist in Residence, School of Fine Arts, MSU Gujarat. During the course of his Indian adventure Marcus became aware aware of the chasm separating the meaning of the ancient Vedic Swastika in India from the post-Nazi aura of the Nazi's perversion of the sign i to the Hakenkreutz in Europe.
The swastika remains a ubiquitous symbol of life and spiritual well being in India and carries no taint of its European contamination. In October 2010 Hetal Chudasama arrived in France to take up an artistic residency in Marseilles. At this point Wood and Chudasama decided to produce a variety of works confronting the variant cultural functioning of the Swastika in contemporary India and Europe. Site specific performances and installations in Paris and Marseilles super-scribed the Indian Swastika as a positive spiritual essence within post-occupation France and Italy. In 2011 the artists carried out a mirrored series of performances across India.
2010-2012 Swastika Triumphans, 15 performances by Marcus Wood and Hetal Chudasama
Paris, Marseilles, Padua, Goa, Vadodora, Jaipur reclaiming the Vedic Swastika from Nazi Occupied Europe
1 ‘Swastika Gold’ gold leaf Vedic swastika’s cast into the river Seine Jan. 2012
2 ‘Virgin’s Foot Swastika’, performance, pigment and feet Latin Quarter, Jan. 2012 .
3 ‘Swastika Light’, Mirror Swastika installation, Vieux Port, Marseilles, Feb. 2012
4 ‘Towering Swastikas’. Performance, Eiffel Tower re-appropriation, April 2012
5 ‘Swastika-Bread in the Brenta’. Swastika performance, with six baguettes trout, carp and seagulls May 2012
6 'Divali Hitler' Hitler Fetish doll embossed with Swastika blown up in Baroda with 100 sticks of dynamite July 2012
7 'Turmeric Swastika' A giant natural drawing with turmeric pigment is made in the old fort Goa. August 2012
8 'Banyan Fetish' Hitler Fetish dolls left to be dissolved in the Banyan grove by Monsoon rains. August 2012
9 'Swastika Elephant' A temple elephant is decorated in Swastika Designs in Jaipur Sept. 2012
The Swastika project generated a lot of collateral art, drawings, sewings, paintings, postcards and footprints. The following selection gives an idea of the forms this work took from 2010 - 2011
The footprint work carries a particular charge for Indians. Whenever an important threshold is crossed, for example a bride walking through the door into her married home for the first time, the feet are coated in geru (the holy red clay) and footprints in the form of a Swastika are made on the floor.