Reading the photograph is to read into all the things it says, and at least into some of the things it does not say. Listening to its silences is an act of the imagination.
—Raqs Media Collective
The contemporary South Asian artists in this exhibition take history into their own hands. They mine the uneasy legacy of photography in India and reach back in time to engage in artistic conversation with historical photography, particularly with images made in the early days of the medium and at the height of the British occupation of the subcontinent.
Works by Nandan Ghiya, Gauri Gill, Jitish Kallat, Annu Palakunnathu Matthew, Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya, Pushpamala N., Raqs Media Collective, Vivan Sundaram, and Surekha will be on view.
In her 2001 series “An Indian from India,” Annu Palakunnathu Matthew investigates the historical connection between the representation of South Asian Indians and Native Americans. For example, she pairs a nineteenth-century photograph titled Feather Indian with an image of herself with a bindi on her forehead, titled Dot Indian.
Click here for a podcast discussion of this exhibition, moderated by curator Jody Throckmorton.