Yoginī, Kāñcīpuram region, Tamil Nadu (India), late 9th-early 10th century Granite Musée Guimet (MG 18508) © Johan Levillain

Three Indic bodies in a Western imaginary: the Kāñcī Yoginīs in the Guimet Museum

The way in which a group of South Indian images representing fierce-looking female deities was dispersed in the West clearly exposes the colonial mechanisms that our museums are still largely dependent on today. In the specific case of the "yoginīs of Kāñcīpuram," however, one element remains to be highlighted beyond the removal of these sculptures from their homeland and their installation in a museum setting that struggles to restore the dense and singular atmosphere of their shrines. It is about showing, in a new way, how the West's own visual references are recreated through the images of the Other.
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