Artist and curator, Aradhana Seth’s mobile photo studio project ‘The Merchant of Images’ is an ongoing transnational conversation, led by the act of photography. Seth invites the public into the slower, more considered space of the old-fashioned photo studio, to a time when the visit was as memorable as the image that resulted from it. The starkly realist medium of photography was always subverted and playfully tweaked by the hand of fantasy—whether through fantastic backdrops, theatrically staged poses, or by hand painting the final image to infuse it with colour.
What she offers through ‘The Merchant of Images’ is a chance to become a part of a choreographed image, and stillness in the age of the selfie. The project is therefore an invitation of sorts. An invitation to reflect as well as to perform, an invitation to look carefully at your surroundings and to be aware of the images you make.