Bollywood Basketball

two-channel, synchronized video installation,

the two videos with audio are presented in monitors facing each other, each video 04:00 min,

from the project the tourist, 2002

The footage in this installation is sampled from the popular Bollywood romantic comedy Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (Something Happens).

At the beginning of the film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, the female lead Anjali (starring Kajol), a sporty ‘tomboy’ in western clothes, continuously beats her friend Rahul in basketball. They are best friends, and it is clear that at least Rahul is not in love with Anjali. At the end of the film they meet again after many years. Anjali has changed her style and is now wearing a sari and has long beautiful hair. In a crucial scene they play basketball again. Anjali is stepping on her sari and it is evident that she has not played for a long time so Rahul wins the game – and finally falls in love with her.

The sampled imagery shows Anjali playing basketball. In one monitor she appears in her ‘western tomboy’ identity (a great basketball player but not loved by a man) and in the facing monitor she is the ‘traditional woman in sari’ (loved by a man but not a great basketball player). The videos are edited so that the basketball bounces from one monitor over to the other, and Anjali seems to be trapped in an endless game with herself, never getting beyond these two constricting stereotypes.

Åsa Elzén