• CLOSETED STANCE

Quarantine Story of a Drag Queen by Patruni Chidananda Sastry

I am an extreme extrovert, optimistic, people person and for me, a regular day wouldn’t end without meeting with at least 50 people. It was around 5 years from the time when I quarantined my art, and that was to crack AIEEE. But I couldn’t withstand the staying without it. And the next time I came, I came as a dancer who never wants to leave the stage. Since a regular time, I always ensured to not stay at home even at the weekend. I ensured to rush, run and engage myself with lots and lots of people around the city. I never want a day to spend without art. Somedays it was dance or drag or performance art. My body became accompanied with a constant Adeline rush to create, create and create art.


As a famous poet said “Keep an artist in a dark room for few days and ask them to draw and that is what becomes a masterpiece” similarly the more days I start sitting and internalising as a part of quarantine, it creates a likely madness to new art which is refreshing as well as inspiring. I may not be fighting directly with the pandemic, but my art gives me a veto power to keep myself motivated and sometimes mass social messages through drag.e essence of art in everything around. This quarantine helped me develop the ideologies to relook Drag art and create a new version of the art form something which is a function of subversion is to reveal the absurd, the intermediary between the day-to-day and the intrinsic ideology creating it, which then opens up that ideology to responses of judgement, mockery, quiescence or anything that satisfies the immediate, visceral shock. Drag serves as the subversion of gender, revealing the ideology of capitalism, though more often and less correctly identified as detached patriarchal structures.

I started performing drag in 2019, June. Drag, an art form usually a man who performs as a woman but now evolved from Dress Resembling a Girl to Dress resembling a gender. For drag I used to shop a lot, pick up clothes I loved, items I liked. I used to create looks and then shop and spend a bomb to make that look. Drag gave me a way of expression. Drag also helps me to create voice for myself. While quarantined, I started telling myself “Queer people lived half of their life in closets, so it would be a cake walk for us to be isolated for few days but it actually gives opportunity to put the heteronormative society within a confined space so it could get slighter of the closet experiences.” And that is why its important to be in drag when in quarantine. Every day I picked up a look. The first week as I started, I got the very inspiration from the excessively heard term over the week “Corona Virus”.

While the modern dance people were enjoying the creation of beautiful dance, Tsutsumi Hijikata alone has resonated deeply in the shape of its deformed and disabled human life and had created a novel Beauty that has never been in human history. This was the idea to decentralise drag to the representation of disease in human form. When you present something in a human form there is an awareness, reliability and an imagination which makes people be aware. Just as how Liberty , Nation's , Elements if life are represented in multiple art forms, it was also essential to represent a disease to o ty to put the heteronormative society within a confined space so it could get slighter of the closet experiences.” And that is why its important to be in drag when in quarantine. Every day I picked up a look. The first week as I started, I got the very inspiration from the excessively heard term over the week “Corona Virus”.us”.ocal fisherman ate it without knowing were contaminated with mercury pollution. And, many people were victims of serious Minamata disease. Tatsumi Hijikata, who continued to collect the weakened bodies, incorporated it into his own dance with the deepest resonance in distorted limbs of Minamata disease patients.

While the modern dance people were enjoying the creation of a beautiful dance, Tsutsumi Hijikata alone has resonated deeply in the shape of its deformed and disabled human life and had created a novel Beauty that has never been in human history. This was the idea to decentralise drag to representation of disease in human form. When you present something in a human form there is an awareness, a reliability and an imagination which makes people be aware. Just as how Liberty , Nation's , Elements if life are represented in multiple art forms, it was also essential to represent a disease to untag the fear and make it just a person to fight with.

As the days followed, I was running out of my ideas of cloths and fashion. it was then when I started picking up trash or lump material which I already had and started using it time and again to create an image of what art needs to look like. As I went on, I created an drag Art specimen called “Hairy Fairy”. When it comes to body hair, society’s standards for beauty for women are certainly stricter than they are for men – many people expect them to be cleanly shaven and even the slightest hint of hair is seen as ‘gross’ and ‘unsexy’. This series of photography was to challenge the idea of beauty and natural hair. Showing it to extreme view point on what if the body had so much of hair. I used some of my wigs to create this S.A.S (my drag name which stands for Suffocated Art Specimen) named "Hairy Fairy" through which i wanted to pass the message of being bold and embracing the body and its every part of it.

This madness of converting trash started so high that I started looking for things around me. Due to the lockdown a friend of mine couldn’t procure cigarettes as cigarettes being considered not an essentials item. All he could do is to curb himself and I making talking this opportunity to motivate him to leave them. As a result, he gave me all his previous cigarette packets which he stored in a box. I Created a look from 50 empty cigarette boxes procured from him. the look titled “Smoking God” is more than just a look. It’s a performance art sitting and making it while passing the inhibition to choking oneself with smoke. This calls out a wave to end the choking game. a campaign to ensure there is no more smoke lighting up.

As the days passed my madness of creating drag grew more and more where I was

This madness of converting trash started so high that I started looking for things around me. Due to the lockdown, a friend of mine couldn’t procure cigarettes as cigarettes being considered not an essentials item. All he could do is to curb himself and I making talking this opportunity to motivate him to leave them. As a result, he gave me all his previous cigarette packets which he stored in a box. I Created a look from 50 empty cigarette boxes procured from him. the look titled “Smoking God” is more than just a look. It’s a performance art sitting and making it while passing the inhibition to choking oneself with smoke. This calls out a wave to end the choking game. a campaign to ensure there is no more smoke lighting up.

The blue and the pink denotes the color of expressions and symbolises the trans flag, blue being masculine and pink being feminine and out of which emerges a disformed figure which gender delusions. The too muchness presents the spectrum of gender and the visual eyes shows up a mirror to the society to self-reflection.

Creating these images for myself made me realise how much time, Money and affordability was the experience going and buying my drag materials from outside. I still remember the stares the society shoots when a boy steps into a Women’s wear shop or a cosmetic shop and asks for Kajal. Quarantine has taught me to be free within the walls loving myself daily. It taught me that how we abuse privilege for art and how can we get inclusive and bring the essence of art in everything around. This quarantine helped me develop the ideologies to relook Drag art and create a new version of the art form some thing which is a function of subversion is to reveal the absurd, the intermediary between the day-to-day and the intrinsic ideology creating it, which then opens up that ideology to responses of judgement, mockery, quiescence or anything that satisfies the immediate, visceral shock. Drag serves as the subversion of gender, revealing the ideology of capitalism, though more often and less correctly identified as detached patriarchal structures.

As a famous poet said “Keep an artist in a dark room for few days and ask them to draw and that is what becomes a master piece” similarly the more days I start sitting and internalising as a part of quarantine, it creates a likely madness to new art which is refreshing as well as inspiring. I may not be fighting directly with the pandemic, but my art gives me a veto power to keep myself motivated and sometimes mass social messages through drag.

But, Soon the news of coronavirus crept into my devices, I tried to convince myself. It won’t come to my country or my city and as it developed, I ensure, I can still get a place. I can still get people and I still share my art with personal effect. However, as time passed the boundaries around me sucked in and became tight. Post the lock down announcement, I got confined to be into four walls. The first week was majorly went retrospecting and telling myself, I cannot stop. Thankfully I had a camera and a friend who can click pictures. It was then I decided I would create an art with this medium.y became accompanied with a constant Adeline rush to create, create and create art.

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Created with compassion by NJN