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SIVA'S IN THE HOUSE: IZHAR PATKIN'S DANCE-FLOOR DEITY

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, 1790–93

WHERE EACH IS BOTH is Izhar Patkin’s Josephine Baker, and also his Carmen Miranda—and most of all his Siva, the Hindu divinity whose disconcerting and sublime contradictions and convergences suggest a reality beyond the norms and incompatible oppositions of experience. A god of magical multiplicity and ambiguity, Siva is Patkin’s muse, his dance partner on the elusive edge of transcendence and transgression. Patkin has always traveled freely through the nominal differentiations of race and place in the multicultural esthetic diaspora, distilling history and geography into radical hybrids in which opposites not only attract, they bond in ecstatic embraces that blur their differences while accentuating their individualities. In Siva he has located the ultimate manifestation of that mortal

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