Tasveer’s presentation is centered around promoting photography from the Indian subcontinent to a new audience and includes work by Jyoti Bhatt, Vivek Vilasini, Anna Fox, Derry Moore, Raghu Rai and Maimouna Guerresi.
Vilasini’s Coloured Houses series comes from a closely knit area of Kerala and show a significant and rapidly popular pattern in this part of the country. The pattern of richly coloured and aggressively decorated residences symbolise prosperity and exude a sense of security – both financial and social. This documentation may come across as an irony to taste and yet registers an impact in the way these houses stand out and express individuality and belonging – examples of a thriving culture. The camera captures a glimpse of ambition within a culture.
In his work Vilasini examines our existing social structures, adapting various expressions of cultural identity prevalent in Indian society today to raise questions about the continually changing global scenario that every individual struggles to keep pace with. Vilasini’s large-format photographs evoke delicate ironies that impact existing ideologies, and influence the cultural and social consciousness of the viewer.
In Pulikali Tigers both photographer and subject perform with and for the camera. The photographer, with her large format camera and temporary outdoor studio appears like an amateur anthropologist and the tiger-performs, already dressed up, act out a pose from their dance for the camera.
As soon as the painting is finished and they are almost ready for the dance, Fox photographs them. She is interested in the point at which the transformation between personality and performer is almost complete; the moment when they are just about to be removed from the everyday and placed instead into a performative carnival space, where anything can happen.
Karen Knorr’s work continues her ongoing dialogue with photography and world cultural heritage focusing on recent work made in India. Knorr began the ‘India Song’ series in 2008, after what she describes as a life-changing trip to India. The work takes inspiration from Indian mythology, exploring both cultural heritage and wildlife, referencing the western appreciation/appropriation of eastern culture and form, and the Indian tradition of representing and personifying animals in literature and art. From the Panchatantra to the miniature paintings of the Mughal court, her photographs depict scenarios that are at once otherworldly and surreal.
Paris Photo 2013