Vishnu Vardhani

The flagpoles in Stoa’s courtyard exhibit a rotating group of artworks which represent the artists’ understandings of intersectional feminism.

You can see this artwork by Vishnu Vardhani from 19 May–6 June. 

Vishnu Vardhani.
Flyttfåglar and the unwonted, 2021. 
Drawing on paper with coloured pens.

Vishnu says, “Something shifted in me when I first spotted the house sparrow (Passer domesticus) also in Finland. In my mother tongue of Telugu, ‘Pitta’ is a bird of resilience. Pitta is an esse [essence], a totem that witches draw on the ailing for rejuvenation. Pitta to me is an embodiment of polyvocality. Birds are one of the reasons I look up at the skies often. To me, skies inspire thoughts of futures. 

I attempted to translate onto paper some of those futures I see, where all entities have the same effortless passage through borders. We are all Flyttfåglar soaring into our utopias. 

‘Flyttfåglar and the unwonted’ is a snapshot of my imagination. It’s an attempt to capture radical relationality of colours, tastes, and smells of hope, even in etiolated whiteness, even in ‘extraordinary circumstances’, existing in a congruent manner, a little free, a little light, a little queer, and a little loose.”

A flag artwork flying
Vishnu Vardhani. Flyttfåglar and the unwonted, 2021. Installation view. Image by Ikko Alaska.
A flag artwork in a window.
Vishnu Vardhani. Flyttfåglar and the unwonted, 2021. Installation view. Image by Ikko Alaska.
A photograph of a person facing the camera, a plant cutting in each hand. Drawn on the image is a crown, half a moustache, half red lips, a blue and fuschia bird singing two yellow musical notes.
Portrait of Vishnu, 2021. Photograph courtesy of Ashwin Rajan, drawings by Vishnu.

Vishnu Vardhani Rajan is a Body-Philosopher. They are a hyphenated identity, multidisciplinary practitioner, who builds connections between art, science, witchcraft, history, and the cultures that define them. They explore shame through dance, acting, and stand-up comedy. Instrumental to their praxis is their intent to oscillate between cultures, languages, methodologies, and sexual identities, each different from the other.. Sleep, conflict, and nutrition are both their research interests and recurring themes.  

Vishnu’s drag king persona is Vamp Master Brown. Vishnu has been proudly bastardising yoga practices since 2005. Since an orthopedic enhancement in their knee, Vishnu is a self proclaimed cyborg witch!