The exhibition, Subjective Object, addressed Eigon Von Eickstedt’s photographic archive held by the Grassi Ethnographic Museum.  Von Eickstedt was a German biological anthropologist who traveled to india in the 1920s to measure and study the adavasi. He created over 12,000 photographs.


For my contribution I created a large scale graphite drawing of Eickstedt’s colonial outfitted body with the head of a man he photographed. In addition I created 2 thaumatropes, a 19th C optical toy, literally, turning wonders,  that were made available for the audience to use. The thaumatropes had Eickstedt’s head on one side and a semi-nude adavasi woman’s body on the other. When the viewer spun the thaumatrope the images collapsed into one. It is a literal  performance of vision that makes Eickstedt the subject of his work. The other thaumatrope used the imagery of the graphite drawing.

© 2017 by Rajkamal Kahlon

Installation View, 2012

Two thaumatropes and life-size graphite drawing