Remnants of Visual History 2008-2011 is a series of portraits of photographic studio interiors, taken in Kerala between 2008-2011, which document the decline of the seductively adorned photographic studios.

I am interested in the space where photography and anthropology intersect with visual culture.

Over a number of visits I have been researching and recording usage of the traditional photographic studio spaces. Once considered an integral part of the vernacular language of studio photography, reflecting the aspirations of the sitters, steeped in both tradition and a colonial history. With the introduction of modern digital technology, they are now on the whole ornamental and considered old fashioned and have rapidly become remnants of a time gone by.

My intention was to record these spaces, void of sitter, to act as portraits in their own right. There are 21 interior portraits, which were taken between 2008-11. All taken within a small geographical space. They are titled by the name of the backdrop, which reflected the current desirable trend but which was often at odds with the location of the studio. Each photograph is historically situated by date and location with added information of how the space is currently used. What I hadn’t intended was that I was documenting of the last days of these interior backdrops and this generation of studio photography.

Caroline Molloy is currently researching contemporary migrant photographic studios in London as part of her masters in Visual Anthropology at Goldsmiths, having graduated from  RCA Photography in 1994.


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