“Kalacharam” means “culture” in the south Indian language Tamil. Under this primary theme, Julie Williams-Krishnan presents “The Third Eye.”
Williams-Krishnan has been traveling regularly to Chennai in south India since 2007. These trips are made to visit her husband’s family, who is based in Chennai. As a Caucasian originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, Williams-Krishnan says, “I use photography as a way to observe, process, and celebrate my growing familiarity with my south Indian family and the region. The work on display here is shot in the family home, where Tamil is spoken, Brahmin traditions are strictly observe my understanding of a place that is my home, but even after all these years, remains fascinating.”
In Hindu tradition, the third eye is referred to as the “the eye of knowledge,” the seat of the “teacher inside.” This is denoted with a dot or mark on the forehead between the brows. It is a state of having deeply personal, spiritual or psychological significance. ”The Third Eye” series is comprised of images photographed from South Indian Tamil soap operas. The third eye reveals itself variously, showing us not only the literal representation of the third eye, but also enlightening the viewers to issues of culture, tradition, gesture, mystery and beauty. This series was shot during one of Williams-Krishnan’s early visits, when her husband and father-in-law left for a few days on a pilgrimage to the family temple, and she was at home with the rest of the family. Watching the serials was a favored pass time of their now late grandmother.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.