Visual culture in urban spaces

Visual culture in urban spaces


CITYSCAPE: Vivek Vilasini’s work titled ‘Night Sea Voyage-2’.

‘In Focus: Contemporary Indian Photography’ currently on in Bangalore features six photographers who capture the gentle nuances and unique reverberations of city life.
Kerala-born Gigi Scaria, who is based in New Delhi, has seen many cities in India and abroad. According to him, “in order to understand the psyche (of a city) one needs to enter into the territory of its inhabitants,” and “when one looks for it, (the city) definitely provides its clues.” Scaria is trained in painting but his sensibilities are enhanced by the aesthetics of sculptural installation and photography. Preeti Sood (who is trained in printmaking at Santiniketan and London) explores memory, time and space within an urban landscape in the context of India “where I was born and have lived.” Now a resident of UK, she is enthralled by similarities and contradictions between two distinct city spaces, Delhi and London. She finds a meaning in the images of ripped posters on walls; they capture the multi-layered subsistence of urban streets where decay and recombine occur in unexpected and seemingly random ways. Life is full of surprises for Rachel Immanuel, a Delhi-based graphic artist who too is in awe of the visual culture prevalent in urban environs. Imaginatively enmeshing old and new impressions of the city in her work, she tries to grasp its simple and knotty subtexts. Her ingenious engagement with the many disparate elements of everyday situations results in the creation of new perspectives of the city and its inner labyrinths.

Atul Bhalla works not only with photography, but also sculpture, installation art and performance. For years he has been engaged strongly with water in the context of his native city, New Delhi. In Bhalla’s images, the overpowering presence of water is felt — in the stillness of a pond as much as in the raging waves pounding on sturdy sea rock. Bangalore-based Vivek Vilasini is known for his striking large-format photographs which allude to socio-cultural and political issues; his images perennially raise questions about the dynamic interplay of man and his predicament, as observed in real/simulated situations. His pictures in this exhibition prove how an unusual encounter with a quirky site could at once open up a whole new universe of disquiet, incongruity and humour.

The scene is a dump yard on the outskirts of London. Where else can you find a meditative Buddha sitting in stony silence behind an ensnared stallion even as a piece of battle-scarred artillery seems ready to fire? A replica of the Statue of Liberty with its raised arm completes the picture laced with delicate irony and introspection.

Mumbai-based Shankar Natarajan, in a manner of speaking, ‘completes’ the picture by bringing in the human element quite literally.  His pictures are simple and straight-forward. Within this somewhat formal arrangement are hidden some provocative questions. As one probes into these, the conclusions could be more disquieting than what meets the eye.

The exhibition is on till July 25 at Crimson, the Hatworks Boulevard, Bangalore.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)