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The Journals of Jahangir Asgar Jani

Jani’s photobook/s invoke the red cloth bound ledger, at one time used by the Indian business community to maintain detailed accounts of their financial undertakings. He inverts their meaning by making his own private ‘ledgers’, drawing upon personal investments of time, an autobiographical account of his journey through six phases of life: Innocence, Learnings, Sex, Love, Faith and Consciousness, also chronicling the past six decades. The cross-hatch content of these journals present memory-montages, dreams and other sensorial reflections that induce both distance and nearness for the author – encapsulating his struggle with ancestry, religious belief, economic and social status, alternate sexuality as well as the meaning of community and political identity.

Jahangir Asgar Jani is a self–taught, Mumbai-based artist whose work is primarily concerned with the vexed impositions of being labelled into a group, straightjacketed into a specific identity, or forced into affiliations. Jani’s life has been a journey from riches to rags, escapism to self-discovery, explored through mixed media art, poetry and film. His work has been critically written about by respected authors and cultural theorists in India. He has exhibited in 18 solo shows since 1990, and participated in several group exhibitions in India and abroad.