Tourist Attraction, 2011
A white englishman visits tourist sites across India. He is repeatedly stopped by locals and photographed. In return, he photographs his photographers.
In each image, a photographer trains the other with his lens. Each becomes an object in the other's viewfinder, a frozen assemblage of pixels. Neither knows anything about the other, he is flattened into an archetype.
During the British Raj in India, photography was an instrument of colonial control: those with cameras wielded power over those without. Since the millennium, the explosion of digital technology claims to have levelled this inequity. Today, we are all equipped with the same digital devices, but our relationship to them is different. Our gaze is different - because our histories are different.
This project explores the process of subjectivation that occurs in the tourist snapshot. Simultaneously reversing and re-enacting the documentary practices of the colonial state, it reflects on the overlaps between early anthropology and early photography.