Priya Kambli: Kitchen Gods
December 9, 2017 – January 7, 2018
Opening: Saturday, Dec 9, 6-9pm
Presentation: Sunday, Dec 10, 10am at The Old US Mint
Staple Goods Gallery presents Priya Kambli: Kitchen Gods, a solo exhibition by second place winner of the 2016 PhotoNOLA Review Prize.
“Priya Kambli’s wonderful telling of the story of a first generation immigrant is rich in the juxtapositions of what was and what is. She is truly a photographic artist that deftly combines imagery, objects, memory, and place. Her unusual approach to the personal narrative made her work a stand out.” – Aline Smithson, Lenscratch
One of my most startling early childhood memories is of finding one of my father’s painstakingly composed family photographs pierced by my mother. She cut holes in them so as to completely obliterate her own face while not harming the image of my sister and myself beside her. Even as a child I was aware that this act was quite significant – but what it signified was beyond my ability to decipher. As an adult I continue to be disturbed by these artifacts, which not only encompass the photographer’s hand but also the subject‚Äôs fingerprints. Even though her incisions have a violent quality to them, as an image-maker I am aesthetically drawn by the physical mark, its presence and its careful placement.
These marred artifacts have formed a reference point and inspiration for my new body of work, Kitchen Gods, but they do not limit the form my own work takes. My need to decipher and address my family photographs is personal. My work is rooted in my fascination with my parents, both of whom died when I was young. Therefore for me these family photographs hold even more mythological weight. In my work I labor to maintain my parents the way Indian housewives do their kitchen deities. I also strive to connect the generations, my ancestors and my children, who have been separated by death and migration. Like my mother, I alter these photographs to modify the stories they tell. – Priya Kambli
Priya Kambli will discuss her work exploring the migrant narrative and experience as seen through a personal lens in a public presentation at the Louisiana State Museum’s Old U.S. Mint on Sunday Dec 10. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Priya Kambli was born in India. She moved to the United States at age 18 carrying her entire life in one suitcase. She began her artistic career in the States and her work has always been informed by this experience as a migrant.
She completed her BFA degree in Graphic Design from the University of Louisiana in Lafayette and continued on to receive a MFA degree in Photography from the University of Houston. She is currently Professor of Art at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri. In 2008 PhotoLucida awarded her a book publication prize for her project Color Falls Down which was published in 2010.