Commissioned for Colombo Art Biennale 2016 | Curator: Alnoor Mitha |
Mixed media site specific installation including archival photographs
*2017 @Aicon Gallery, New York City
*2017 @ 1ShanthiRd Studio Gallery, Bangalore, India
*2019 @ Chennai PhotoBiennale, Chennai, India
Albert Kahn’s ‘Les Archives de la Planète’ (The Archive of the Planet) was a monumentally ambitious project: to produce the first color photographic record of human life on earth. In 1909, this French philanthropist was introduced to the Lumière brothers autochrome technique which was the first portable colour technique. The bright hues, in most of images, render subjects towards a more intimate accessibility. To access archival data in this perfectly preserved form connects in a fundamental way with Liz’s own research. It surrounds the idea that the objective of a photograph in South Asia ponders an evolving interplay between its fragile and fugitive existence. In opposition to her European place of birth, the tropical humidity of the place of Liz’s ethnic origin, leads especially the object of a colour photograph, into a painful slow and unstoppable deterioration process until it vanishes completely; as though it had never existed. This process inverts and diverts what is known to be the general conception of the understanding of the photographic object, the possession of temporality and leads to one of the core questions in preservation. The sitters of Albert Kahn’s ‘Archive of the Planet’ not only unfold their individual narratives within the space, it is more the critical examination of the ambiguous archival and visual anthropological data we source our presence from.