7 September, 2015

Still Life

24 October, 2016

Global Citizens

Photos: Kounteya Sinha, Paroma Mukherjee, Shome Basu

Text: Tomasz Kozlowski

These images are from an ongoing exhibition, New Homelands: The Indian Diaspora in the European Union.

For people of Indian origin now living in Europe, the reasons for their choice are as diverse and intriguing as the paths that took them to their new homes.  How did they make the transition to Europe, learning new customs, a new profession perhaps, and often, a new language? How do they see the society they live in and now call home? What happens when their children are born in Europe developing new and multiple identities?

At the invitation of the European Union Delegation to India, three Indian photojournalists have just spent a month meeting people of Indian origin who have made their home in the European Union. Through their lenses, this cultural project, explores the myriad journeys of this diaspora, and their contributions to the countries of the European Union. I believe this exhibition will surprise and delight visitors but I am also hopeful that it will deepen understanding and goodwill between the peoples of the two biggest democracies in the world.

The exhibition continues at India Habitat Centre till 7 November; curated walks of the exhibition will be held daily from 21-30 October, at 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 5 p.m. on weekends. 

15 October, 2016

From Persia, with love
Photos: Azadeh Akhlaghi & Babak Kazemi
Text: Shridharani Gallery
These images are part of an ongoing exhibition entitled Staging the Past, featuring works of two Iranian photographers, Azadeh Akhlaghi and Babak Kazemi. Azadeh’s works are sweeping panoramas that are carefully researched, and staged, reconstructions of scenes of assassination from Iranian history; while Babak’s images are softer, capturing the internal struggle of a human being looking to attain “freedom”.  The exhibition powerfully captures themes that resonate with the human experience — democracy, censorship, art, history and love.
In Azadeh Akhlaghi’s series, staging is of supreme importance. Akhlaghi’s “action” shots are based on written “official” eyewitness accounts that detail the assassinations of known left-leaning revolutionaries or individuals in Iran. Babak shot to prominence with his series The Exit of Shirin and Farhad, Bodies and Past Continuous Tense.
The show is on till 2 November at the Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi

8 October, 2016

No longer present

Photos: Karan Kapoor & Tasveer Gallery

Text: William Dalrymple & Felicity Kendal

These images are from the exhibition Time & Tide going on at TARQ gallery, Mumbai, featuring photographs by Karan Kapoor.

Curated by Nathaniel Gaskell, Time & Tide brings together two bodies of work made by Kapoor in the 1980s and 1990s, and focuses on people and places that have either been lost to history, or changed beyond recognition.

The first series in the exhibition presents a study of ageing Anglo-Indians, primarily from Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata), and forms one of Kapoor’s earliest personal photography projects. He writes, “I was more interested in the older generation as they seemed to be the last remaining remnants of the British Raj — people who remembered the railway cantonments, the Marilyn Monroe look-a-like contest, the ‘Central Provinces’, and so on, a world long gone.”

This idea of a world no longer present or fast fading also forms a central thread in Kapoor’s second series presented here, that is comprised of photographs taken during his frequent visits to Goa, where he vacationed with family and friends at their house on Baga Beach. Taken in the 1990s, these photographs capture an older Goa: the last of “Portugal Goa”. Although Goan Catholics, probably the largest inheritors and key defenders of their Portuguese heritage, continue to exist in Goa today, their numbers have steadily declined over the years.

The exhibition will continue till 16 October


1 October, 2016

Rethinking the museum

Photos: Debasish Mukherjee

Text: Kanika Anand

The images presented come from a selection of mix-media works from an exhibition, entitled The Museum Within, by artist Debasish Mukherjee.

Drawing on the disciplines of cartography, archaeology and design, the exhibition concerns itself with the position and function of the “museum”, elucidated specifically in the selection and cataloguing of objects for display as well as its role in conservation.

Donning the mantles of archaeologist, museum curator and conservator, Mukherjee reimagines these roles and reconstructs architectures and objects from his past in order to raise questions around preservation and neglect. The Museum Within proposes alternative forms of inquiry into the preservation of Indian heritage. Do our museums aptly serve as custodians of material culture and collective identity? Do our historical sites deserve more respect as emblems of social history? How can we communicate our centuries-old traditions better, so as not to lose them completely?

The exhibition goes on till 5 November at Akar Prakar Gallery in New Delhi


24 September, 2016

Saga of the nowhere people
Photos and text: Shib Shankar Chatterjee
Shot over a period of 24 years, specifically from the 1992 to 2016, in the Cooch Behar district of  West Bengal, these photographs represent the plight of people staying at the Chitmahals — the name given to the formerIndia-Bangladesh enclaves. 
The enclave dwellers, who have now been relocated, for years suffered inhuman conditions. Non-existent roads and transport systems, deteriorating condition of the drinking water, absence of electrification, unhygienic surroundings and much more marked everyday life in this part of the world. 

17 September, 2016

Cultural Decay

Photos: Pablo Bartholomew

Text: Nature Morte

The photographs represented here are from the series Memento Mori by photographer Pablo Bartholomew. In 1986, Pablo was commissioned by National Geographic to photograph the monumental effort of 15,000 Bangladeshi men who had to physically close the mouth of the Feni River to control flooding and create a freshwater reservoir for irrigation over a seven-hour intertidal marathon, thus building the largest dam in the country. The cardboard box where he kept the Kodachrome slides from the assignment was feasted by termites thus affecting the slides. In the process, there emerged entirely new works of art. Memento Mori is Bartholomew’s attempt at resurrecting the corpses of his images, albeit fully conscious of their irreversible state of mutation. In enlarging and presenting these ruins, he restores the intimacy and immediacy of their contents while exposing the futility of the human attempt at preservation.

“Memento Mori” continues till 24 September at Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi

10 September, 2016

Horses For Courses

Photos: Niyogi Books

Text: Lean Deas

The photos represented here are from the book Horse Racing in India: A Royal Legacy by Lynn Deas. In India’s early history, horses were an important part of daily life: they served as draught animals, as a means of transport, and in the defence services. It was only in the latter part of the 18th century that army officers set off to race horses against each other for a private wager. Evidence suggests that racing first began in Madras and subsequently spread to the east.

The second half of the 19th century saw racing evolve from being a mere pastime and friendly competition to a sport with great potential for development. With the support of the early Englishmen as well as Indian princes and maharajas, racing in India achieved glorious heights. Today, the sport is more commercialised and is increasingly viewed as a “rich man’s sport”. There are numerous theories on what the future of Indian racing holds; many agree that there is a need to lessen taxation and attract younger people to the sport to increase its popularity.



3 September, 2016

Dawn of a new era
Photos: Baiju Parthan 
Text: Art Musings
The artworks presented here, by artist Baiju Parthan, come from the series Necessary Illusions, which combines painting as well as digitally composed pieces. Parthan is one of the early exponents of new media art and mediatic-realism in the Indian contemporary art scene. His vocabulary consists of arcane symbols, found imagery, as well as contemporary photographic materials that are woven together to create paintings which reveal a dense multi layered phenomenological landscape. 
His work in the digital realm consists mainly of explorations into the constantly mutating interstice where the virtual and real bleed into each other. Through a range of computer generated virtual objects presented in video installations, large scale prints on metallic surfaces, and lenticular prints, Parthan manages to present a critique on high technology and its impact on our life and experience of reality.
The exhibition continues till 19 October at Mumbai’s Art Musings.

27 August, 2016

City of Love
Photos & text: Rupin Thomas
Photographer Rupin Thomas brings alive Paris, a dream destination for millions of travellers. He has captured the city in an intimate light through its grand buildings, breathtaking landscapes and its graffiti. 
“There are larger questions the way we form society or constructs of a city whether it is Paris or Delhi. And until we come to a recognition of the fallacies of the fundamentals we build our social constructs on, we can’t come to a realization of how to rise above the trivial or find solutions to alleviate our inability to face realities... that’s when we fabricate our own rationalizations,” says the 33-year-old photographer.
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