Hetain Patel @ TED Global

21 October 2013

In June 2013 New Art Exchange helped Hetain Patel present at the TED Global conference in Edinburgh.

The performance talk is now available online at the link below ( press the 'VODCAST' button.)

"What determines our identities anyway?" asks Hetain Patel. As a child, Patel wanted to be like Spider-Man or Bruce Lee; later, he aimed to be more like his father, who displays a much different kind of bravery. From these ambitions, Patel's recent show Be Like Water examined shifting identities of all kinds, using dance and bold imagery to power a story of self-examination and self-creation.

As a conceptual artist, Patel has used photography, sculpture, installation and performance to challenge cultural identity. For his work, he has grown a mustache exactly like the one his father wore when he emigrated from India to the United Kingdom in the 1960s, and remixed the practice henna tattooing to incorporate English words and comics books. Patel's conclusion about identity: that it is an ever-shifting game of imitation.

Eventually he believes that our failure to imitate, often leads to us discovering our authentic self.

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