Hetain Patel is a conceptually driven British artist and performer who explores themes of identity and freedom with an attentive eye toward casting the widest net possible through the use of digital technologies, media, and YouTube. Humor, choreography, and pop-culture references are hallmarks of Patel’s work. Recent projects include commissions for Tate Modern and Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London; performances at the Royal Opera House in London; and building a “working-class” Transformer robot from an old Ford Fiesta (co-created with his dad). His online video and performance works — which include his 2013 TED talk titled Who Am I? Think Again — have been watched more than 30 million times. Patel’s 2017 film, Don’t Look at the Finger, was exhibited at Chatterjee & Lal in Mumbai and the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton, England. The film takes its title from a Bruce Lee quotation about misdirection from the film Enter the Dragon (1973): “It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.”
Supported by the U‑M Center for World Performance Studies Performing Identities on Campus Symposium.
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