La Fábrica and Cristina de Middle, the award-winning Spanish photographer, presents her striking latest project, The Perfect Man. With Chaplin’s film Modern Times as a starting point for the book’s narrative structure, De Middel reflects on the peculiar understanding of masculinity in India, through the relationships between man, machine and work.
In India, industrial revolution never really started and never really ended, but western standards,which defined this new perfect working man, were imposed and accepted in a society that already had a very elitist cultural structure. The results were confusing.
De Middel tells the story of Doctor Ashok Aswani, who decided one day to go to the cinema instead of going to work. He saw a Chaplin movie four times, lost his job and started what would become the biggest festival homage to Chaplin in the world. Doctor Aswani would never be the perfect man because the perfect man works for his country’s greatness. The perfect man wakes up early to go to work and waves at his wife from the car as he heads towards the daily traffic-jam that would take him to his office. Charlot would never be the perfect man either.