Cowboys and Indians at Burning Man 2017 : The 4th Series of the Koboi Project

Cowboys and Indians will be presented as part of a new camp called [The Camp with No Name]. This work, consisting of two images, will show how even in traditional contexts, rituals are constantly being radicalized and revivified.

1) Pazham Neeyappa is an image Tamil movie Superstar Rajnikanth, as he appears in the blockbuster film Kabali. It will be rendered as a 15 ft flag banner and set against the Burning Man landscape on a18 ft pole. The audio accompanying this image will play from loudspeakers at a high volume. The banner will stand at the camp but it will be retractable and portable which will be advantageous in dust and wind storms as well as in terms of taking the installation/ performance to different locations on the playa. It will be lit at night.

2) Indian Cowboy is a 15in image that will be presented in the sheltered interior space of the chill lounge of the camp. It presents a more intimate and personal subject. It is an image of reunion – between two friends accompanied by its own soundtrack played on a loop on headphones.

The Mango of Truth Performance will be carried out three times during the Burning Man event. Once at the camp and twice on the playa. During these performances I will present a mango to the audience, and proceed to reveal its traditional symbols, weaving into his narration, meditations on the ideas of ‘image’ (Superstars, cowboy, etc.) and ’truth’ (false news, post-truth, etc.) in our contemporary media reality. I will also address the mounting LNG investment/ 1st nations situation on Lelu island . At the end of each performance, mangos will then be offered to the audience. The artist and his crew will be dressed in Western attire throughout their time at Burning Man, performing and narrating discreetly, thereby gently breaking the proscenium of the staged segments in a living ritual that is both ‘traditional’ and ‘radical’ at the same time!

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