these are just objects
By Insiya Dhatt
San Francisco, California: Insiya Dhatt, 2023. Edition of 20.
14.5 x 10"; 16 pages. Case-bound presentation album, consisting of 10 pages of Arches BFK Rives 270gsm paper. Photographs composed and taken by the artist in her studio in San Francisco. Typeface is Garamond Premier Pro. Photographs are printed on Canon Premium Glossy paper with an Epson Inkjet Printer. Conceived and created in 2023 by Insiya Dhatt. Signed and numbered by the artist.
Insiya Dhatt: "The book ‘These are just objects’, explores the concept that objects can evoke diverse interpretations depending on the context in which they are viewed. The six pages serve as windows into different aspects of the world, inviting viewers to contemplate the varying perspectives that arise when encountering these objects. Each image encapsulates a distinct narrative, shedding light on the complexities and disparities present in our society.
“The first page, ‘Like a compass seeking direction or the qibla,’ highlights the subjective nature of right and wrong, illustrating that these concepts are not fixed absolutes, but rather subjective viewpoints influenced by the diverse cultures we encounter.
“On the second page, ‘A girl rarely gets to choose between Deen or Duniya,’ delves into the burden imposed upon girls to walk the path of godliness without a choice. This societal expectation fosters inequality, as religious teachings often took precedence over other aspects for girls, hindering personal growth and autonomy.
“The third page, ‘Virasaat, inheritance laws dictate,’ exposes the unjust treatment of daughters in inheritance practices. These archaic beliefs diminish a daughter's rightful share compared to her brother's, perpetuating the notion that she is somehow less valued within the family structure.
“The fourth page, ‘Mehr, serving as a wife's financial safety net,’ explores the dynamics of a marriage dowry system. The symbolic wealth bestowed upon a wife is often locked away, requiring the husband's consent for access, further perpetuating unequal power dynamics within marriage.
“On the fifth page, ‘Nose piercing - naak vindavanu without her consent,’ captures the nuanced issue of consent and the subtle messages present in societies that still practice circumcision as a rite of passage for young girls. Such practices can inadvertently contribute to the normalization of similar violations in adulthood.
“Finally, on the sixth page, ‘When a woman's desires stray from the conventional norms,’ challenges society's tendency to label women as ‘churail,’ associating them with instability and perceived malevolence when they defy societal expectations. This image urges us to question and transcend the limitations imposed by rigid norms, celebrating the courage of those who dare to pursue their own desires."