'Monologues' of ordinary people
My recent body of works is framed as 'monologues' of ordinary people who talk about their relationships, and as a testimony to their 'lived reality' reveal themselves in front of my camera the intimate moments of their relationship with their dear ones. As part of my project conceived as a transitory reflection on life to locate what is eternal, I make them write about their respective feelings on the prints of photographs I have taken of them. Text thus becomes a part of the photograph.
I went from one house to another, known and unknown, and met mother and daughter, husband and wife, siblings, lovers – gay, lesbians as well as friends to inquire about their relationships. Relationships are as always complex and have multiple layers to them. But the most enduring value is found in how people regularly overcome the barriers of class, race, age and sex to reach that 'divine level' where intimacy and love is the only narration.
Many a character of my project stand alone in the photographs but with their minds travelling far as they constantly crave to unite with their loved ones, the strength of intimacy could still be felt through the absence.
I have been on the trails of a diversity of people who live in different economic conditions, have varied sexual identities and desires, eventually to chance upon many incredible stories. I have found a desolate transgender lady in tears trying to get out of a solitary life, dying for commitment in love; a pregnant woman waiting to hold the beloved; a divorced man lost in nostalgia; a determined mother raising a deaf child; a male dwarf standing in an empty staircase contemplating his life. Many strong relationships have a mysterious aura to them, they persevere in the face of disappointments, anger, misunderstanding, uncertainties. The bond stays strong, maybe because of a very simple reason – love.
Salma Abedin Prithi’s ‘Dear Love’ (2015) was one among the 13 projects selected for the Samdani Art Award 2016, curated by Daniel Baumann.
Photo courtesy: Artist