Karen Dias

http://www.karendias.studio
Artist Bio

Karen Dias is a multi-disciplinary artist from India whose works explore themes of violence, conflict, trauma and suffering. Informed by her decade-long career as a photojournalist, she works across 2D mediums employing processes like UV printing, digital manipulation and alternative photographic processes to investigate the role of the image in truth-telling and its relevance as a reliable document of our times. Working across sculpture, photography and installation, she investigates the use of semiotics, icons, emblems and motifs to question socio-political hierarchies and power structures. She is currently based in New York City.

WE WATCH FROM THE MARGINS

1.5' x 2.5' x 8'
Dried red chillies, steel wire
2020

A PROVOCATIVE SOCIETY FINDS WAYS TO PROTECT ITSELF IN THE FACE OF STATE-SPONSORED VIOLENCE IN TIMES OF STATE-MANUFACTURED UNREST AT A LOCATION AS NEAR OR AS FAR AWAY FROM YOU AS YOU CAN IMAGINE. BUT WHAT IF IT DIDN'T NEED TO?

Mixed-media installation
Wooden shelves, metal shelf brackets, bottle of water, bottle of milk, bottle of Coca Cola, bottle of cooking vegetable oil, red onion, lemon, medical mask, rubber gloves, smart phone, medical gauze, stones, book: "Anarchism and Other Essays" by Emma Goldman
Dimensions variable
2020

A RED LINE UNDER A BLUE SKY

Approx. 8'
(Dimensions Variable)
Razor Blades
2021

Artist Statement

I’m a multi-disciplinary artist from Mumbai with roots in Goa, India. My work is informed by a decade-long career as a photojournalist which informs my investigation into the role of documentary photographs in truth-telling and their relevance as a reliable document of our times. I am concerned with questions about representations of violence, power, conflict, and empathy in photography and visual culture. This investigation into the responsibility of images informs my sculptural practice explored through the use of found materials and objects from our everyday lives to question socio-political hierarchies through a lens of feminist intersectionality. Playing with ideas of legibility and obscurity, my work leads the viewer to question their role as a participant, bystander or witness in acts of violence and oppression. Playing with ideas of the physical and metaphorical meanings of sight and vision, I see the viewer as actively engaging in decoding my work to find their ideological place in the world by studying the semiotics, icons, emblems, and motifs in images and objects to reconstruct and challenge preconceived ideas and meanings. My practice spreads across lens-based processes, sculpture, and installation.