Tahir Karmali let us in on the making of his exhibition ‘Value’ opening at Kuona Trust on the 27th of February 2014
Before embarking on this project I was certain about the concept and execution. Though like any project – its meaning and worth would change over time. After handing in my proposal and gaining approval, I found myself trying to convince myself that the project is genuine and not contrived. It was 4 months of formalities before I would commence putting the exhibition together. That was four months of self-doubt and fear that the initial idea was not as good as I thought it would be.
My project entailed taking photos of Male Sex Workers with their most valued possession. The first thing that scared me was attaining these photos, secondly would they take this seriously and finally would I be finished in time for exhibition. Before taking the photos I was a bundle of nerves scared that my debut exhibition at Kuona was going to fail. “Would anyone take this seriously” was the thought that ran through my head late into the night.
I had finally set a date to take the photos of the MSW at the HOYMAS head quarters. This was the day that had changed my entire outlook in the project and outlook on life. The moment the first portrait was taken – a man holding his college textbooks – my faith in the project was restored.
When I looked at the photo it revealed a depth to the project that I did not think of. It became clear to me that it is not the object itself that one values it is what it represents. i.e. Textbooks = Education. As the day went more I began to realize – that it is not about the viewer taking the project seriously, it was the subjects’ internal debate on what they considered valuable. After the day was done and I sifted through the photos on my camera my own perception of value had changed.
I then realized that for the viewer to understand the exhibit that they must be part of it. So, I decided to ask the viewer – What would you bring the photo shoot?
To learn more about the artist please click here