Srinivas Krishna: My Name is Raj
Srinivas Krishna: My Name is Raj, 2011
Photograph: Aaron Van Domelen
Srinivas Krishna's participatory installation connects the 1950s and ’60s Indian cinema pioneer Raj Kapoor's screen personae with the self-dramatizing portraits of ordinary people commonly taken in Indian photo studios. A photo collage of portraits leads the viewer to a loop of film clips in which Krishna manipulates the Kapoor’s image, even taking the actor-director's place on screen. Viewers then enter a photo tent where their portraits are taken in the guise of Kapoor's characters and inserted into his cinematic worlds on a "photo wall." My Name is Raj is a reinvention of identity that journeys into the heart of Kapoor's art and its hold on Indian audiences.
"Srinivas Krishna's participatory installation My Name Is Raj playfully references the aspirational desires embodied in Indian commercial photography. A wall of portraits drawn from Indian photo studios testifies to a common phenomenon of 20th-century India, in which members of the burgeoning Delhi and Bombay middle classes sought to impress friends, potential employers or a possible bride’s parents by having photos taken of themselves garbed as doctors, lawyers or other respected professionals; the photo studio, in effect, becomes a place to assume a new possible persona... My Name Is Raj gives a digital twist to a formerly analogue phenomenon."
– Noah Cowan, Artistic Director, TIFF Bell Lightbox
Perth International Arts Festival (PIAF), Crawley, Australia
February 18 to March 2, 2013