Mahesh Shantaram


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Mahesh Shantaram

Text(s) by Mahesh Shantaram, Gita Aravamudan, graphic design by Kummer & Herrman


2018. 112 pp., 51 ills.


23.00 x 28.00 cm

ISBN 978-3-7757-4519-2

Indian weddings between pop and tradition

All that is great about a country and all that is wrong with it can be summarised by a single wedding, says Indian photographer Mahesh Shantaram (*1977) and member of Agence VU’. In his documentary work, he mostly studies the complex societal system of his home country. Working as a wedding photographer, he had privileged access to a cross-section of celebrations of the Indian upper- and middle-class society. Young adults assume the role of princes and princesses in a Bollywood-like fantasy often choreographed by their parents. On the periphery, a multitude of workers entertain crowds, cater to thousands of guests, and keep the show going on for days. Using images culled from over 150 weddings and created in the course of six years, the photo series Matrimania constructs a fictional narrative—an alternative wedding album—that depicts one long wedding night in India. Matrimania is a personal take on 21st century India’s contradictions seen through the prism of its wedding culture.

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