Rat Goddess: Karni Mata Temple, India by Miru Kim
16 min 22 sec, Single Chanel Video, 2013.
DVD and USB set, Artist Edition of 9.
2-hour sitting inside the Karni Mata Temple in Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India.
This performance was witnessed only by the temple priests, local worshippers, and one backpacker.
She walks in alone, dressed in milky white, sets up the camera, and pours milk into an oversized pan. The milk spills over the pan and flows into the drain in the corner. Then she sits right in the puddle of milk, staring into the pan, and slowly proceeds to cup the milk with her hands. As she sits there drinking the milk, the thirsty temple rats come one by one. A pigeon flies over the milk and unloads a dropping into it. She ignored it and continues to share the milk with rats. The local worshippers gather around with curiosity, as no one knew why she was there or what she was doing. Some go on to touch her knees then their foreheads. Some bless themselves with the milk flowing behind her. Some pour more milk into the pan. And then some bow down before her. They whisper and wonder if she is some sort of a living deity. A holy pilgrim from the Northeast perhaps. People want to believe in miracles. That's how legends are born.