archana hande



arrangeurownmarriage installation images
2002 -2009


Installed in

'Farewell to Post-Colonialism', The 3rd Guangzhou Triennial,
curated by Gao Shiming, Sarat Maharaj, and Chang Tsong-zung.
Guangdong Museum of Art, China 2008

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I started this project based on the idea of Arranged Marriages. This project came as an interest to me with the question of my grandparents and their siblings all having blue and green eyes and fair skin colour. My roots are from Mangalore belt, with the history of the port city, and my relatives claiming to be pure Brahmin, which raised lots of question to me. The thought of so many colonisers entering the region through this port and settling down, mingling with the locals and the exchange of culture. Marriages and conversion within different communities happened in all the classes. Of course few relationships would have developed which were not uttered and kept secret till today.

I am trying to trace my blood roots which I imagine it would lead me to Portuguese but I am at present imagining. Colonial to now there has been lots of Migration and conversion and inter marriages. There is a mixed blood which you can or cant trace its origin, but can sense and see it within many communities. I am more interested in how this has mixed the culture and created new languages, food to clothing to even traditions. The claim of pure blood and pure tradition is something very strange in our country in today’s time.

I always wondered how our family who claims to be pure Brahmin and believes in marriages within their own caste, religion and language having such features. When I questioned them it was considered as rude and insult to the family. I began investigating on the purity of my blood and came across the dot com’s and various other criteria of pure marriages. Though I started my series of work as a take off from the Tv serials and the dot com’s, the concept of selling marriages and its products became the starting point, the investigation of purity and blood and the legal angle of the institution remained the focal point.










Installed in

Immersions: The White Cube Project, curated by Deeksha Nath,
Anant Art Gallery, N. Delhi 2009

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Earlier it was more of the concept of the pain of meeting and looking at each other and then trying to make your parents and relatives happy, or spending so much of money to impress each other before anything is finalized. But now you just need to go online and search and chat with the person and finalize it, and just before the marriage you meet each other and from next day is your happy day. So now you can arrange your own marriage.

The middleman is the dot com a virtual space. And the opportunity is to arrange your own marriage. Here not to worry about caste, or religion or language or country. But you can also be very specific to your caste, religion, language, state or country, without involving your parents, your aunt, uncle, cousins, grandparents, grandaunts… the package is totally for this generation and for the next generation.

But nothings changes 'The Arrange' remains an 'arrange' the person is unknown; the ultimate marriage is within the religious circle. Of course the software engineers in USA/Europe as they get lonely in the huge country and start getting nostalgic thinking of their country misses the food and tradition. And here the well educated women who are desperate to go to the divine place USA/Europe have the opportunity to go, doesn't matter how the guy is or looks but their status and luxury is looked after. All thanks to the dot com’s which made life easier.