Art News & Views


The unrestrained voice of an image finds depth and clarity when it is examined as a composite, a site for exposing as much as censoring it's subject. Photography shifts its allegiances from being a testimony - a tale of events - to that of an art object, as much as it produces a corpus of desires in its viewers: people looking at photographs, monitoring and occasionally even hiding them. It rallies against time and seems immortal, circulating via media and technology, snowballing into a stock of episodes, controlled moments and fresh memories. In its occasional randomness lies its beauty, yet its field of references may not be as tame.

We hold up a photograph, drag it across a screen, frame it in a corridor, tear it if distraught, or even 'take' one if compelled. But it also drives us, controls a line of sight, makes us uncomfortable, moves across borders, shifts a trajectory, reveals a skeletal map of space, takes us into outer space, elevates us till we cannot tell the difference between 'it' and the dreams we now see. It is printed, enlarged, cropped, brushed and posted. It is that object we encounter daily to view the world, believing its truths and at times, choosing to delete it, replace it or save it at the click of a button.

The articles in this issue then trace some of these movements of photography in India through time. It is analysed and marked with exhibitions, curated projects, interviews, theoretical interjections and personal accounts. The writings hold up a mirror to cultural specificities, regional politics, investigative reportage, as well as the interpretive sciences, which today provide heady instances of how an image is projected, consumed and shared. If we now live in a transnational world, a digital milieu and a virtual zone, the image has a kind of primacy that is nourished by lines of exchange and reception. These channels of transmission are always open, charged and managed through electronic media - data transfers that allow us to witness events simultaneously, engage them conceptually and distribute them globally.

This issue is therefore a glimpse into such transfers and meanings produced in India in the recent past. They insinuate a growing orb of occurrences, all of which naturally could not be pieced in a single issue. However, they imaginably suggest that the time for photography is now, the renaissance of image making and makers has arrived and only a critical understanding of its past as well as its present, will allow us to gauge its dominating presence in our lives.

Think of the earliest photograph you ever saw. You are already part of its future.

Rahaab Allana  



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art etc. news & views is a monthly magazine published from India in order to promote art and culture. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. The magazine covers art exhibitions, auction highlights, market trends, art happenings besides Antique, Collectibles, Fashion, Jewellery, Vintage, Furniture, Film, Music and Culture.