Camera Indica: The Social Life of Indian Photographs
A wedding couple gazes resolutely at viewers from the wings of a butterfly; a portrait surrounded by rose petals commemorates a recently deceased boy.
These quiet but moving images represent the changing role of photographic portraiture in India, a topic anthropologist Christopher Pinney explores in Camera Indica. Studying photographic practice in India, Pinney traces photography's various purposes and goals from colonial through postcolonial times. He identifies three key periods in Indian portraiture: the use of photography under British rule as a quantifiable instrument of measurement, the later role of portraiture in moral instruction, and the current visual popular culture and its effects on modes of picturing. Photographic culture thus becomes a mutable realm in which capturing likeness is only part of the project. Lavishly illustrated, Pinney's account of the change from depiction to invention uncovers fascinating links between these evocative images and the society and history from which they emerge.
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aesthetic albumen print Andamanese andthe anthropological Arundale atthe auspicious backdrop Bengal Bhatisuda black and white body Bohra Bombay Brahman bride British bythe Calcutta Cambridge camera captured caste Chamar Chandni Chowk Chandra Shekhar chromolithographs colonial colour complex Composite print costume culture dactylography Deen Dayal deities Delhi depicted display Divali encounter European external face film framed Gutman Hindi Hindu Holkar Ibid identity illus images India individual Indore inthe inthis Jain Krishna Lala Deen Dayal London Madras Maharaja Manaklal’s montage Museum Muslim Nagda Nagda photographic Nanda Kishor negative Nelson Goodman nineteenthcentury ofthe painted Panjabi Pannalal person Phalke Phalke’s photographic practice physiognomy picture popular portraits portraiture poses Private Collection Pukhraj Rajasthani Ramchandra Ravidas representations Sagar Studio semiotic Shiv shivling Shrinathji Singh sitter Society Suhag Studio Suresh temple tobe tothe traces tradition Tribes Vallabhacharya Vijay Vyas village visual vyaktitva watercolour wedding album Western