Embodiment in Indian Photography

2024-07-14 03:42:13

Gayatri Sinha

Embodiment in Indian Photography


June 15, 2023    
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Abadee dancing girl of the Oudh Court of Lucknow, Pl. 12, from the album The Beauties of Lucknow, c. 1874, Photograph, Image credit: Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library

Since the mid-nineteenth century, photographers in India have challenged the veracity of the medium as a tool of representation. Using it frequently to subvert rather than present the truth, Indian studios and individual photographers established a highly performative mode of (self) presentation. While western philosophers and theorists address the ‘death’ of the photograph, Indian studios sought perpetuity in a way that challenged temporality and the idea of a fixed time and place as photographic realism. 

Join us for an illustrated lecture by Gayatri Sinha, writer and founder of Critical Collective, as she delves into photographs from the mid-nineteenth century to look at ideas of portraiture, performance, and the crowd as the unintended subjects of photography.

Gayatri Sinha

Gayatri Sinha is the founder director of, a knowledge portal on Indian visual culture. She has edited Voices of Change: 20 Indian Artists (Marg 2010), Art and Visual Culture in India 1857- 2007 (Marg Publications, 2009); Indian Art: an Overview (Rupa Books, 2003]; Woman/Goddess (1998); Expressions and Evocations: Contemporary Indian Women Artists of India (Marg Publications, 1996]. 

She has curated and lectured extensively in India and internationally, including at the National Museum, NGMA, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Grand Curtius museum, Belgium, and at KIAF, South Korea. She has written monographs on the artists Krishen Khanna, Adimoolam and Himmat Shah and served as visiting Professor at JNU, Lady shri Ram college and the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum. She is the recipient of a Ford Foundation grant (1998-2001), and the Tate Asia Research grant (2017).

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