Double Vision/Doppelbilder is a photographic essay of a group of works that were first shown at the Wilhelm Hack Museum’s Rudolf-Scharpf-Gallery in Ludwigshafen, Germany. The proposed photo essay will pair images and texts which explore the history of US-American, British and German colonial image productions from the 19th century to the present.
The works in Double Vision/Doppelbilder are formally and theoretically dense. They rethink how we individually and collectively look at images, forcing a renegotiation of how we understand the art object and ourselves as privileged viewers. The exhibition presents a challenge to the limits of Cartesian Dualism. Through a reconsideration of European painting, it critiques the western philosophical privileging of disembodied vision. Intersecting this philosophical inquiry, it looks at how the colonial subjects are represented in European imperial archives. The Subaltern is allowed to speak outside of the frame, unhinged and free to create new contexts of meaning. The once passive viewer now becomes the focus of the artworks themselves. Subalterns take on their own life, are animated, and appear to dominate the pictures more than the pictures dominate them. The image is created in the moment of its viewing.
Rajkamal Kahlon is an US-American artist and educator based in Berlin. She uses overlapping strategies of critical aesthetics and absurdist humor to interrupt the pedagogical function of texts and images found within colonial archives.