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Indian Photographies
Visual Culture in the subcontinent
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"Photographer’s dilemma : Making stylistic choices" by Malavika Karelkar

"Photographer’s dilemma : Making stylistic choices" by Malavika Karelkar | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The 19th-century photographic studio brought about what the art historian, Partha Mitter, has called “great transformations of visual culture that broke away from earlier pictorial conventions, not least Mughal pictorial conventions”. Emergent pictorial traditions, he argues, were linked to the modernizing process of India to which “Victorian illusionist painting”, processes of mechanical reproduction and finally, the camera, contributed. That the Mughal imprint remained integral to early photography is clear in the compositions of Indian photographers, whether in Calcutta, Madras or Bombay."

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TALK | Ram Rahman in conversation with Sunil Janah

Photographer Sunil Janah (1918-2012) in a discussion with Ram Rahman during his exhibition at the Gallery at 678 in New York in August 1998.
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St.ART Delhi | Delhi’s Street Art Festival

St.ART Delhi | Delhi’s Street Art Festival | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

An ongoing street festival in New Delhi is transforming the bare walls of the city into a walk-in art gallery. In pictures.

 

By Aditi Malhotra and Enrico Fabian | @WSJIndia

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BOOK REVIEW | Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination, by Malavika Karelka

BOOK REVIEW | Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination, by Malavika Karelka | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The field of visual culture studies in the Indian subcontinent has gained tremendous momentum over the last two decades. It has drawn the interests of scholars working across disciplines spanning anthropology, film and visual culture studies, curatorial studies, art history, sociology and even history and English literature. While it is evident that the visual has assumed particular historical import — the study of which is often perceived as constituting a radical move against the logocentric bias of the epistemological frameworks engendered by colonialism; the diversity of approaches in the field has however provoked interdisciplinary methods and discourses only in a very limited way. On occasions there is a hasty will to confusing the visual as a ‘popular’ medium, even bearing the mistaken claims to subalternity. The size of India’s mammoth film industry, whose annual output surpasses Hollywood’s, only facilitates this misgiving. In the backdrop of this formative field characterized as yet by an indistinguished discourse/s few texts come close, through their method, to offering a comprehensive and holistic take on the histories of the visual in the subcontinent. Malavika Karlekar’s Visual Histories: Photography in the Popular Imagination is a delicate read, combining a unique and multi-faceted form of close analysis of photographs with eloquent prose that on instances enthralls the reader with masterfully constructed complex sentences and on others, subtly humours her with the flavourful flourishes of Victorian expression..."

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Max Pinckers : 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty' (2013)

Max Pinckers : 'Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty' (2013) | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Pinckers could have taken a straightforward editorial strategy, photographing the Love Commandos and the people they have helped. But instead of emphasising the record element of the story, Pinckers pulled in a fictional direction using a visual language that borrows from Hindi cinema (Bollywood) and its depiction of relationships and love. An example is his image of a young boy and girl holding hands in an urban alleyway. The future of these childhood sweethearts is already written out for them. The cage the boy is touching contains two green parakeets; they are like lovebirds imprisoned by society. Lit like a Bollywood movie from the 1970s, the image mixes the real and the fictional in a carefully staged manner. “I’m always looking for something that is slightly clichéd because that interests me very much, but I’m also looking for something that is fictional or pulls away from reality. Love is so abstract that it gives me the chance to experiment with the subjective in a metaphorical way...”

Text Colin Pantall on Max Pinckers latest work. More images here : http://www.hpdetijd.nl/2013-10-12/india-fotograaf-max-pinckers/

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OP-ED | 'Photographers must learn to edit' by Aveek Sen

OP-ED | 'Photographers must learn to edit'  by Aveek Sen | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"A sharp little twist was given to this problem by the historian of photography, Sabeena Gadihoke, during the launch of Nony Singh: The Archivist at the festival. “Men photograph, and women edit,” she said to the audience, subtly prodding them to reflect on the intellectual limits of photography’s unquestioned machismo. The cultivation of introspection and subjectivity was also at the core of the inaugural lecture delivered by Urs Stahel, founder and former director of the Fotomuseum at Winterthur in Switzerland. “Radicalise your shyness instead of trying to cover it up with confidence,” I overheard Urs saying to a young photographer while reviewing his portfolio, “let your work emanate from that shyness, so that what you are fighting against turns into an advantage.”

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Delhi Photo Festival 2013 | Christopher Pinney - The Civil Contract of Photography in India

Lecture by Christopher Pinney on The Civil Contract of Photography in India during the Delhi Photo Festival 2013 September 29th, 2013 www.delhiphotofestival.com
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FEATURE | Sarker Protick : 'Of River and Lost Lands'

FEATURE | Sarker Protick : 'Of River and Lost Lands' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Drowned houses, floating trees, broken structures are traces of life that was once here. Places I have photographed do not exist anymore. Monsoon arrives and the river runs fastest. The lands get washed away and disappear. It is the river that people depend on, it is the river that takes away everything."

 

All images © courtesy of Sarker Protick

sarkerprotick.com
sarkerprotick.wordpress.com/

 

Via Landscape Stories

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Documentary | Madan-Mahatta : the Memory Maker

"An 8 year-old boy was given a box camera instead of toys to play with and this inspired a life-long fascination of watching the world through the camera. Today, at 80, Madan Mahatta shares his passion for photography through this film. The inner world of this man of few words opens out with the help of his wife, Usha Mehta and photographer friends, Ram Rehman and Dayanita Singh, and through a historic exhibition of his work that captures the making of modern Delhi."

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Sydney 2013 Photo Festival | 'Crossfire' by Shahidul Alam

Sydney 2013 Photo Festival | 'Crossfire' by Shahidul Alam | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Undeterred by his earlier experience, in 2010 Alam and his team at Drik launched Crossfire, a controversial project that exposed the actions of the Bangladesh government’s enforcement agency, the Rapid Action Battalion, who were basically given license to capture and execute their own people without due process. The photographs in Crossfire capture the locations where people have been killed, or from where they have disappeared.

“It was a national concern and we were horrified by what was happening,” Alam said. “We did this project because we had to. We thought seriously about what the modalities might be at an aesthetic level and also at a strategic level. We worked very hard at the audience engagement in terms of how we handled the media, how the news was taken out."

Photograph © Shahidul Alam
Interview by Alison Stieven-Taylor | Le Journal de la Photographie

  

 

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Documentary | 'Let’s do Timbaktu'

Documentary | 'Let’s do Timbaktu' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"When Rintu and I founded our company, Black Ticket Films, one of our core focus areas was (and remains) to constantly challenge the way we tell our stories. So ‘form’ for us is as important as ‘content’. We’re constantly mixing media and using high-definition live-action, still photographs, archival video, graphics, music and text to build on our stories. Quite a few well-known film theorists and academics in India have asked us why our documentaries look so glossy, almost like advertisements – and in my response, I’ve always wondered why shouldn’t a documentary ‘look good’,” Sushmit says.

 
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Of Misery and Glory

Of Misery and Glory | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

The story of two photographers, Raghu Rai and Kishor Parekh, and their books on the birth of Bangladesh

Article : Elizabeth Kuruvilla | Open Magazine 

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Exhibition at Clark House Initiative, Bombay | 'Visual Evidence'

Exhibition at Clark House Initiative, Bombay | 'Visual Evidence' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The exhibition from the Clark House curatorial archive gives credence to a trajectory of art historical scholarship, from Partha Mitter to Jyotindra Jain and Tapati Guha-Thakurta, who subtly interpreted the collapse of visual iconographies of nationalism, fundamentalism, and religious pantheons. The exhibition plays with the chronologies of mediums gaining popularity in India, as put forward by writers like Girish Shahane, from the hand-painted photograph to paintings inspired by photo-journalism, and anachronistically, later by the European Renaissance. The exhibition is also a careful look at a mixture of styles within works: where hunted deer, or fighter planes stylistically differ from the pastoral landscapes that surround them. Toying with calibrations of what has been previously debated, the exhibition adds new iconographies into the fray, from lesser known contemporaries of the better known studios."

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The Way of Light : A site - specific sound & light performance

The Way of Light : A site - specific sound & light performance | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
Listening is seeing in this sound installation show that questions frenzied city living
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Op-Ed on Public Art in South Asia

Op-Ed on Public Art in South Asia | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Yet, I am still not sure that subcontinental cities need public art. (And I’m not talking about dead new townships, but the teeming, deadly, but never dead, core of an Indian or Pakistani city.) European cities most certainly do — their citizens would die of boredom, of Nothing Ever Happening, otherwise. That is why Western public art is never ‘beautiful’. It is made to shock, stun or outrage, and seldom to ‘beautify’. The eye made quiet by the power of civilization must be made to feel the jolt of the unexpected, if only for a few moments. Finding a gigantic bronze spider called Mother looming over your city square, or the entire opera house wrapped in fabric, becomes a matter of life and death when, at the prospect of walking to your therapist’s round the corner, or stepping out with your chihuahua for the Sunday papers, you know that your route would lie through nothing but clean, law-abiding avenues, more or less unpeopled, except for you-clones exchanging tight smiles or collecting dog-poo in ozone-friendly bags and popping them into boxes made for that purpose".

Aveek Sen | The Telegraph 

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Op-Ed | 'The eye of the beholder' by Tara Kaushal

Op-Ed | 'The eye of the beholder' by Tara Kaushal | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"The democratisation of cameras and image-taking has its side-effects, chief among them the engenderment of a new brand of voyeurism. But Tara* Kaushal argues that the camera can be a tool of self-defence for women as well."

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REVIEW | 'Studio Suhag' & 'My Life is My Message' at Art Heritage Gallery

REVIEW | 'Studio Suhag' & 'My Life is My Message' at Art Heritage Gallery | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Truth and Theatre: Two recent exhibitions blur the distinction between portraiture and ‘performance'

Text by Trisha Gupta | Open Magazine 

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DOCUMENTARY | Gianfranco Rosi's "Boatman" (1993)

"Shot on the Ganges River at Varanasi (formerly Benares) in northern India, a center of Hinduism, Sanskrit learning and Buddhist pilgrimage, the (correctly) black-and-white Boatman, in Hindi and English, follows boatman Gopal Maji and takes in a plethora of sights both tranquil and troubling. Directed and photographed by Eritrean-born Gianfranco Rosi, this superlative film from Italy took the prize for best documentary at Hawaii. Of current and enduring interest, along the way Hindi-Muslim tension is addressed.
     But the film’s two intertwined main themes lie elsewhere. One has to do with the contradictory nature of the Ganges: a polluted sacred river. The source of much of the pollution accounts for the other theme: the accumulation of the cremated and uncremated remains of the dead, which are routinely and ritualistically consigned to the river. All this occasions another consideration: who are permitted to employ the river for this purpose; who are even able to afford to do this. Sometimes the financially destitute cannot mark a burial with the traditional funeral pyre.
     Rosi, offscreen, asks questions of Maji and others, and all the responses become part of the fabric of the river that we are watching. Rosi establishes the river’s potent symbolism from the start—on land, by the river. He invests the camera with continuous motion through crowds of people, thereby conjuring the sense of a flowing river even before we are in Maji’s rowboat on the river. In this way, the river is associated with people’s bustling lives. Once we leave land for the river, another association accumulates: the river as embodiment of the continuity of life and death. Indeed, few films more openly address death as a part of life.
     Rosi’s film is full of fine images—for instance, the parallel rows of huge shadow-casting drumlike thingamajigs between which Maji rows and halts his boat. It turns out that these are anchors, and the image provides a powerful presentiment of death."

Dennis Grunes 

http://grunes.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/boatman-gianfranco-rosi-1993/
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INTERVIEW: Curator Urs Stahel on Museums and Photography | Artinfo

INTERVIEW: Curator Urs Stahel on Museums and Photography | Artinfo | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

I think the world has become very complex, and this is an issue for the producer of photographs and for the visitor of photographs, the lookers. We accept complexity in our daily life. When we buy a new computer or a new smart phone, we accept that we get a manual and that we have to read at least a part of it, otherwise we cannot use this machine. In our daily life we are ready to deal with a rather complex world. But very often, in art and photography, we want to simplify the world in a childish way. Here, look, that’s the world, is our attitude. The world is no longer like that. Very often the appearance of the world is hiding what it is. So, pieces of art, pieces of photography, I would suggest could be much more complex, could include text, mix up video, text, and create an environment of visual information. Photographers tend to be too easily satisfied with their own work, they should go further, though. Sometimes I use the word radicalization for that. We should push ourselves, become radically intimate when you do something, in a poetic, radical way. When you’re doing political photography, become a political investigator, expose the horrible truth. When you’re an artist, you radically conceptualize, so don’t do this in-between thing. It doesn’t help, and of that we have enough. I don’t like to show or collect photographs, I always say. I like to show and collect personalities and attitudes. I’m looking for a human being who really deals with the world, like Alan Sekula, who, sadly, died just this August. I would love to give as an idea to pass on to young people to make their reference to that kind of personality. "

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Advertisement Photography in India

Advertisement Photography in India | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
With the speedy progress of industrialisation and urbanisation in the early 20th century, development in the form of mass production gave birth to the market’s need to turn manufacturing goods into popularised and desirable commodities.
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Feature | 'Vez & Me' by Tenzing Dakpa

Feature | 'Vez & Me' by Tenzing Dakpa | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Tenzing’s photo series called Vez & Me took seven years to complete. It aptly documents the personal and professional journey of an artist in the making.
Photograph by Tenzing Dakpa

Article by Priyanka Chharia | Better Photography

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'In Confrontation With The Apparent' : An Interview of Swapan Parekh

'In Confrontation With The Apparent' : An Interview of Swapan Parekh | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"What do you men by photographic reflex ?

It’s an ‘Instant Evaluation’ based on years of seeing and experiencing while shooting. That instant when the inside and outside align and actually make one want to press the shutter. Your current state of knowledge and cumulative memory-bank, largely decides this split second capture of a visual configuration. It’s what leads to your distinct visual brew. It’s how you shoot, what you shoot. And it’s not only about what you include, but also what you deliberately choose to exclude in your final moment of release."

 

Photograph © Swapan Parekh

Interview by Mank Katyal and Marukh Budhraja | Emaho Magazine

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Book | 'A Certain Grace', The Sidi: Indians of African Descent, by Ketaki Sheth

Book | 'A Certain Grace', The Sidi: Indians of African Descent, by Ketaki Sheth | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
Photographer Ketaki Sheth's new book is a heartfelt profile of the Sidis.
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Adil Hasan | Inside India's oldest Muslim university

Adil Hasan | Inside India's oldest Muslim university | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

Photographer Adil Hasan gives a glimpse into the lives of foreign students in the 138-year-old Aligarh Muslim University in India

Photographs © Adil Hasan

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Mumbai’s ‘Focus’ Festival Showcases Women Photographers

Mumbai’s ‘Focus’ Festival Showcases Women Photographers | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Yet it is often women who have collected and organized much of the history of photography in South Asia", Mr Gupta said.

“The family album is often guarded and looked after by the women, who are the repository of a family history,” said Mr. Gupta. “Similarly in India, I think a lot of women have worked in the industry end of photography, doing the research, maintaining archives and facilitating dialogues. The handful of photo-specific agencies and galleries that we know of in India were started by women.”

Photograph : Mohini Chandra
Article : Neha Thirani Bagri | NYT 

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