Afterlife is the sixth chapter of Vasantha Yogananthan's long-term project, A Myth of Two Souls, which is based on the epic tale The Ramayana.
Drawing inspiration from the images associated with this myth and its pervasiveness in Indian daily life, Vasantha Yogananthan retraced the legendary journey from north to south India, a journey through time and space that offers a modern reinterpretation of the tale. Afterlife tells the passage related to the bloody war between the army of Ravana and the army of Rama. As the title suggests, the chapter deals with the themes of death and reincarnation. The series can be read as a visual exploration of a man's descent into the darkness of the soul.
Shot in Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu during two editions of Dussehra, the Indian festival that celebrates the victory of good over evil, the images do not document the celebrations. Instead, they focus on the trance that people try to reach night after night as if for a week they were allowed to escape from their bodies to become something else. The images were then reworked in the studio by Yogananthan where he created collages by mixing different photos that are inducing in the viewer a state of disorientation.
(France, 1985) Yogananthan has been working over the last 10 years on the personal projects Piémanson (2009-2013) and A Myth of Two Souls (2013-2020). The photobook as a medium has been central to Yogananthan’s work since he began which has led him to co-found the publishing house Chose Commune in 2014. Yogananthan has received several awards, including an ICP Infinity Award, Fondation d’entreprise Hermès and has been selected among the 20 FOAM Talents of 2017. Vasantha Yogananthan is represented by The Photographers’ Gallery Print Sales (London), Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai) and Polka Gallery (Paris).