Nirveda ALLECK

Born in Mauritius in 1975, lives and works in Mauritius.

Continuum, Mauritius forms part of an ongoing body of work (Continuum) that seeks to explore notions of identity and the self. The project started during a residency in South Africa in 2006, and has since moved to Mauritius, Lebanon and Reunion Island. I approach people on the streets and ask them to pose for the camera; they are then meticulously rendered in paint with their double personae also represented, thus alluding to the inherent complexities of the ego and the dual state of being. It is a record the people who constitute the space and locality, but also a reflection upon notions of representation and self-representation. The white background alludes to the changing habitat and social scene.

To represent the diversity of our Mauritian culture is a big challenge for any artist, as there exists various degrees of political, social, economic and religious complexities that all come into play. The prevailing ideologies of goodness, correctness, « l’interculturel », « l’Unité dans la Diversité », « L’Ile Plurielle » all carry a degree of ambivalence as to what the actual the state of affairs is, as opposed to the desired and somewhat utopian ideal of a multiethnic society. With Continuum Mauritius, I attempt to subtly bring forth the fragile cultural and communal realities of our island.

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