PRINT April 1995


Victim Art

THERE WOULD SEEM TO BE NO reason in the world why readers of Artforum should want to hear about Professor Harish Chandra, chairman of the Literature Department of the University of Pataniganj—a small cantonment town, 350 dusty, derelict miles from Bombay, where the oranges are sweeter than almost anywhere in India. But the kind of “connectivity” that comes with the entanglements of E-mail turns us all into vernacular cosmopolitans, and it is unwise, anymore, to presume we know where the center lies and where the periphery falls. And there is another reason: like the U.S., the University of Pataniganj is involved in a culture war.

My electronic informant tells me that it all started, those many thousands of miles away, with a few lines from Sylvia Plath’s “Lady Lazarus”:


Is an art, like everything else.

I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.

I do it so it feels real.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 1995 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.