Artwork

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew
An Indian from India – Portfolio II, 2007

  • Inkjet-Print on Legion Concorde Rag Papier, 10 parts, Ed. 3/15
  • 30 x 48 cm
  • Acquired in 2008

The Indian-British artist Annu Palakunnathu Matthew analyzes the erosion of national and cultural identities in conceptual photographic projects. “With the photo series An Indian from India I look at the other ‘Indian.’ I find similarities in how nineteenth and early twentieth century photographers of Native Americans looked at what they called the primitive natives, similar to the colonial gaze of the nineteenth century British photographers working in India. In every culture, there is the ‘other.’ The images highlight assimilation, use labels and make many assumptions. I pair these with self-portraits in clothes, poses and environments that mimic these ‘older’ images. I challenge the viewer’s assumptions of us and them, exotic and local.” The artist gave the individual subjects in the series content-based titles and identified the historical sources in her commentary.

Annu Palakunnathu Matthew is a Professor of Art at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island, where she teaches photography. Matthews work frequently concerns itself with issues of identity. “Through my work, I explore the enigma of my cultural heritage and try to embrace the American culture that I have chosen to make my future in.”

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