How would you look like if you did what everyone asked you SHOULD do? 

Is should just a word that is part of an ordinary language of harmless suggestion or does the weight it carries impact people more than what the language suggests?

Being a woman, for me, Should is a word that carries the weight of expectation and is a word that demands compliance.  However, in the time when the access to multiple views on how should a life be lived, the notions of right and wrong living — what could the collective weight of these life advices look like?

When I was a young girl, should dictated the length of my skirt, the pitch and tone of my voice and the way I sat. In my teenage years, should was my neckline, it was the people I could speak to, the time I could be seen out of my house, my grades and my laughter towards the joke of the opposite gender. In my thirties, should is my eye contact, my clothes, my appropriateness, my hair, my skin colour and my womb. 

Sure, there would be no such rules in the art world!  Does being an artist absolve myself of the should? This running project explores that. 

In the definition of should, I watch publicly available art lectures and wait for the moment when the artist proclaims his/her method of making art or being an artist in the form of a line that contains the word, should. I take note of this should and add it to my paper as a quotation of should. I will stop at the 1000th art lecture and evaluate the collective weight of a harmless should as dictated by an influential person to minds that are open to receiving them.

This will be an open format where I will be displaying all my work on my website for public viewing. For me, this is in cadence with the advice that I am working on — which is also available publicly.

Edit: Along with the professional advice from influential artists, I will also be stealing parts of conversations with friends and family and documenting their SHOULDs from me. 

[ If you wish to know more about the project, please write to me at aakanksha(dot)gaur@gmail.com ]