At the MIA
INDIA: Public Places, Private Spaces—Contemporary Photography and Video Art
This exhibition presents contemporary Indian photography and video art of the last quarter century, ranging from straightforward photojournalism to highly contrived personal expressions. The twenty-eight artists included in this exhibition provide rich insights into the dynamics shaping the contemporary Indian psyche and social sphere, including deeply rooted cultural practices, dramatic economic and political shifts and the pervasive influence of the media. As they use their cameras to observe, analyze, interpret and subvert, these artists traverse many realms of experience, from the inescapable shared spectacle of the worlds of politics and Bollywood to the enigmatic territory of the artists' imagination. They investigate identity as a social construct, engage issues of gender and sexuality, and explore the effects of population migrations. As a result, the lens moves from the street to the home and from the body politic to the body of the artist.
Increasingly, Indian photographers and video artists insist that their work be more than simply a visual record that mirrors an easily discernable world. They have found more subjective ways to engage the Indian and global social domains, often performing for the camera and constructing narratives. With insight and poignancy, honesty and audacity, humor and irony, these artists create works with many levels of meaning. They encourage us to look beyond the surface, and to consider India anew.