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Karisma Kapoor (2000)

Catherine Yass

Ilfrochrome transparency, lightbox

Birmingham Museums Trust

Karisma Kapoor (2000)

© Catherine Yass. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023



Photograph, Installation


Ilfochrome transparency


88 x 131 x 12.5 cm


Gifted by Catherine Yass through the Contemporary Art Society, 2019/20



Ownership history:

Gifted by the artist to the Contemporary Art Society, 2019; presented to Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, 2019/20
Catherine Yass creates photographs and films that explore the relationship between physical and psychological space, namely how environments are constructed and experienced by their inhabitants, through an emphasis on temporal duration. Her signature photographic method involves manipulating both the exposure and development of the film, layering a positive transparency on top of a negative. Yass then realizes the resultant images as lightboxes, prints and films. Her technique yields images that are richly coloured, ethereal abstractions that embody the dualities of reality and illusion, presence and absence.

Catherine Yass represented Britain at the 10th Indian Triennale in New Delhi in 2002 with a body of work specially commissioned by the British Council. The series, entitled ‘Star’ comprised six lightboxes depicting portraits of Indian Bollywood film celebrities, with a further four images of empty auditoria of Mumbai cinema houses. Living in the East End of London, Yass’s first awareness of Indian film came via the large Asian community there.

The glowing, dreamlike quality of Yass’s ‘Star’ series speaks of the almost sacred status of Bollywood actors among fans. The global phenomenon of Bollywood is a significant part of cultural life for many Birmingham communities, but it is an art form not often acknowledged in a fine art or museum context. In this, the works will contribute to Birmingham Museums Trust’s collection focus on acquiring work that represents Birmingham as a multicultural, transcultural and global city. The pieces will join a series of six photographic cityscapes by Yass in the Birmingham collection and are an excellent addition to a rapidly growing collection of portrait photography including recent acquisitions of work by Pogus Caesar, Stephen J. Morgan and Vanley Burke.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

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