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Visual Culture in the Subcontinent
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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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Exhibition in Delhi | 'The Calcutta Diaries' by Pablo Bartholomew

Exhibition in Delhi | 'The Calcutta Diaries' by Pablo Bartholomew | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it
“I have photographed what was around me and still do. Journeys were made then and they continue even now. So, I have always recorded what was around me and intrigued me. The engagement was very simple—to look, to see, and to capture; to fill some voids that were created in the past and remain even now. In some ways it has been a form of therapy and sometimes a shield. And in our family, we lived our lives and recorded them, and if now some of it has become ‘history’ then so be it. We all make up our own language as we go along. The archive is a reservoir of this language, and it needs to undergo a constant process of re-engagement and re-assessment, in the same way that language changes and evolves over time. This is what archives are for me. They are the guardians of our memories. Calcutta is still a city that is held by time. I felt it more when I went to visit my grandmother as a child, and it still held that resonance when I went on to the sets of Shatranj Ke Khiladi . So, when I was photographing it, it was not about nostalgia as it may seem like now. Perhaps, with the passage of some more time it may become history. It is all about transitions and time—story becomes myth, myth becomes legend.”


Photograph and words by Pablo Bartholomew

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Chobi Mela VII | Interview of Shahidul Alam

Chobi Mela VII | Interview of Shahidul Alam | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

I personally think pretty much all the arts benefit from people who work in the periphery, in the edges. I think photography has lot to gain from people outside the field of photography, in terms of what they have to offer, how they can contribute to the medium and Chobi Mela always encourages that interaction. It’s been a very fluid border in movement and direction. I think certainly the fact that this is a festival where fine art photography, conceptual work, documentary work, 3D work, whatever, gets space is one of the things that makes it so rich. It’s not so predictable. Every year it is different. And I think every year it is evolving...."

Interview by Munem Wasif | Le Journal de la Photographie

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Abhishek Poddar on the Landscape of Contemporary Photography in India

Abhishek Poddar on the Landscape of Contemporary Photography in India | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Amongst so many galleries around today, we needed to be clear about how we define and differentiate ourselves. Tasveer's relationship to photography is perhaps different from the other organisations that are Involved with art and photography that exist in India. Tasveer's contribution has been as a commercial gallery, and one that tries to encourage both the promotion and also the sale of photographs in India. These concepts are intrinsically linked, and both have therefore gone some way to defining the identity and motivation of Tasveer over the years. I 'll attempt to briefly and simply about the history of the photography market and how this relates to India, followed by an outline of a few of the ways in which Tasveer tries to do more than just sell and exhibit photographs, and how we are also, to the best of our ability, trying to contribute to the wonderful and fast evolving landscape of photography in India..."

Text by Abhishek Poddar | The Arts Trust

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History of Chobi Mela

Chobi Mela, the first festival of photography in Asia, is one of the most exciting ventures that Drik has initiated. The first Chobi Mela – International Festival of Photography was held Dec.1999-January 2000. It is the most demographically inclusive photo festival in the world and is held every two years in Dhaka. The festival examines the dramatic shifts in image production, ownership and distribution brought on by new developments in the media landscape.

 
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Interview | Artist Hajra Waheed On “Sea Change”, her India Debut Solo

Interview | Artist Hajra Waheed On “Sea Change”, her India Debut Solo | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"As children, most of us spent a large amount of time getting acquainted with our imagined realities. We developed grand vocabularies around these alternate places and people and narratives, and at times, even invited our friends in to explore these intimate spaces with us. I suppose in some ways I never stopped developing stories from that very place. Of course, my narratives have matured (at least I would hope so!) and are deeply influenced by my many lived experiences traversing borders, or rather, living among them. So many of us who live along these lines (either by choice or force) do go missing or disappear at times, just to re-emerge later. I am fascinated by those who — yes, dare to journey across the borders they once built for themselves. It takes courage to do so, to leave what you know in order to better understand what you don’t. “Sea Change” begins to explore the narratives around this very migration — one that is as much physical as it is psychological and/or emotional."


Work by Hajra Waheed
Interview by Rosalyn D'Mello | ArtInfo 

khicṛī's insight:

A show not to be missed, at Kolkata's Experimenter's Gallery

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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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Interview with Dayanita Singh | "The Eunuch is the New Maharaja"

Interview with Dayanita Singh | "The Eunuch is the New Maharaja" | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

 

"A.S.: In some of the works in Go Away Closer, there seems to be a tendency to create drama out of visual patterns and their behaviour. I refer here to works that create an effect out of presenting objects stacked in a uniform manner - chairs lined up in regular rows in a cinema theatre or in a room, scooters arranged in a warehouse, gloves hanging limp on window bars. Do you feel that as much as one needs to explore the hypnotic quality that repetition as a trope possesses (the incantatory effect that words can achieve and the spectacular effect that objects can), one has also to be aware of the dangers of it being used in a manner that is formulaic?

D.S.: Of course, there is a danger there. If you are seeing a pattern and not the emotion that I am seeing in these photographs, then, it is something that I need to take very seriously. I would definitely not want my work to be dominated by a sense of pattern. There is a kind of conditioning that comes out of practice, thought, and participation. A moment compels me to pull the trigger and take the picture - I respond intuitively. Rather than consciously, with an idea in my head. Perhaps, too often, we are conditioned to think of the photogenic and the photographeable. Some of my latest works look at capturing that which is not photographeable. And that which is not traditionally photogenic.

How you capture an image depends on your instinct - the way you allow your experiences to shape the act. What you draw on could be from literature, from music, from cinema, from life. As well as from your understanding of the medium. Take light, for example, the very basic element of Photography. I am very conscious of light even when I am not photographing. How it falls, how it fills up a space. Where it lingers. Light in complete darkness, etc.

There are images I have taken recently which have stayed on for sentimental reasons. Images I made because I had to, for my own sake, or just because I wanted to share a view with someone. Myself Mona Ahmed (2001) was born out of my admiration for Mona - the tough life she has led, the choices she has made over the years. Quite a few years ago, there could be no shows of Indian art/photography without pictures of maharajas; then, of course, over time, urban family portraits took over. Now, you have to have images of eunuchs if you are mounting a show, especially internationally. The Eunuch is the new Maharaja. It's amazing how fast certain themes become stereotypes."

 

Interview by Abhay Sardesai | ARTINDIA

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Interview | Film Director Kamal Swaroop

Interview | Film Director Kamal Swaroop | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"Film director Kamal Swaroop has been involved for the last 20 years in rehabilitating the figure of Dadasaheb Phalke in diverse ingenious ways. Here, he talks to Abhay Sardesai about entering the portals of history and communing with ghosts from the past."

Interview by Abhay Sardesai | ArtIndia 

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Chobi Mela VII | 'Fragility'

Chobi Mela VII | 'Fragility' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"In an economy gasping for breath, in an ecosystem reeling under consumption, waste and the ravages of war, the greed of a few threaten the future of many. We challenge you to push back the tide of unbridled growth and lay your stake to a sustainable universe. It is only by embracing the fragility of this world that we will make it your own..."

 

Text by Shahidul Alam
Photograph by Ranak Martin 

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Indian Art Fair | 'So much for stereotypes'

Indian Art Fair | 'So much for stereotypes' | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

“I’m puzzled by the way you hang on to stereotypes of the rest and the west – aren’t we beyond that now?". 

The question, raised by a member of the audience at the Speaker’s Forum at the India Art Fair in Delhi last week, was a response to papers – notably by Spanish art historian Estrella de Diego – that had critiqued the west-centric bias of an art world where a show at an institution such as Tate or MoMA is still required if an artist is to be taken seriously on the global stage. Such injustices are inarguably present. Yet in Delhi last week, both within the fair and in the city beyond, artists overturned cultural stereotypes with imagination, intellect and joie de vivre. Meanwhile the presence of the likes of Tate, MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago reminded us that those museums need artists from afar just as much as artists need their approval (...)


Work : 'Frida Sits on Double Pepsi’ (2013) by Pakpoom Silaphan, at Scream Gallery ;
Article by Rachel Spence | FT.com

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Koodankulam: A Nuclear Plant in My Backyard | Photo Essay by Amirtharaj Stephen

Koodankulam: A Nuclear Plant in My Backyard | Photo Essay by Amirtharaj Stephen | Indian Photographies | Scoop.it

"I come from a village called kavalkinaru in tirunelveli district of tamil nadu, not very far from kanniyakumari. my father was employed at a heavy water plant in tuticorin and i spent the first 24 years of my life in the atomic energy township there. i was always told by the people in my township that nuclear energy was safe and that it was the future. I believed them..."

 

Photograph and text by Amirtharaj Stephen

 

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