12th – 25th March 2010, a series of images by Lenskap of Charli Bikaner portraits were reprinted by Wideyed and placed as an installation in the auditorium of The Mining Institute in Newcastle.
This intervention was part of ‘Blindboys Wideyed’.
“Charli Bikaner mysteriously disappeared 48 years ago“, said his nephew Sunil Dhawan, rolling eyes as if he wasn’t sure.
According to his other nephew, Praveen Dhawan, Charli was a private detective originally from Ferozepur, Punjab. He ran a guesthouse, The Charli Bikaner Lodge, as a cover for his detective agency, and was friendly with the police and CID.
Some half a century after Charli’s disappearance, Lenskap discovered the Lodge and the extraordinary portraits within.
Dozens of framed pictures from Charli’s intriguing opus are still on permanent display there. Some have been brutally nailed to the wall. Some have tape holding together their cracked glass. All are stained with age and countless redecorations. There are signs that some are missing, so those that remain are like an incomplete and indecipherable jigsaw puzzle.
“As a detective, maybe these pictures were a way for him to tell people that crime doesn’t pay…”
Other than that, they wouldn’t say more about their Uncle Charli, and knew nothing of Charli’s equally mysterious accomplice, the unknown photographer who originally made these images.
For more about Charlie Bikaner’s Lodge, follow this link.
Lenskap started taking pictures with a camera he found at a picnic spot in Mussoorie when he was 13. When the film was later developed, he discovered pictures of a large and unknown family enjoying their weekend and posing in ways he found funny and mysterious.
When not taking pictures, he runs an eclectic design studio, publishes an online magazine, and plays with synths and sequencers.
Lenskap lives in a concrete building surrounded by more concrete and the odd Jacaranda tree, but has plans to go and live in the Andamans and chill.
For more about Lenskap, follow this link.