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KHOJ Studios’ photographer’s residency

From: Sayantini
Date: 12 Oct 2010
Time: 01:42:48 -0500


Moving ahead from the age-old debate of whether photography can be termed as ‘art’ at all and the photographer, an ‘artist’, photography has found its rightful place in the dominant perception of today’s contemporary art scenario. In an era of fast paced ‘digital’ innovation with an ever increasing focus on technologically advanced equipment and high-end sophisticated gadgets, Shifting Focus, the Photography Residency being presented by KHOJ International Artists’ Association which is on till October 30, 2010, aspires to evoke the timeless ‘magic’ of photography and to extend its space to re-instill the intuition in making photographs. The four selected photographers-in-residence are Mansi Bhatt (Mumbai), Ajay Talwar (Delhi), P Madhavan and Edson Dias (Goa). The work done during the residency will culminate in a show that will be on at Khoj Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi from October 27, 2010 to October 30 2010. Says Pooja Sood, Director, Khoj International Artists’ Association: “By bringing together photographers with diverse backgrounds and art practice as artists-in-residence for the month long duration, the residency attempts to create a bond of shared experiences through exciting exchange of ideas and technical skill, and endeavors to cultivate a broader, more inclusive perception of photography in the realm of art.” Envisioning its role as an experimental space to foster alternative ideas, artistic exchange and dialogue, the residency aims to assist and facilitate a deviant discourse on photography, from the ‘mainstream’ to that of the ‘alternative’. In pursuit of alternative photographic processes, Shifting Focus seeks to investigate the vast potential of image-forming possibilities while demonstrating varied and often, untried means of making images. It promotes freedom to shift focus from using conventional methods and their intended purposes to that of discovery and exploration through practice of imagination and skill and thereby pushing the boundaries of photography. Shifting Focus strives to bring into focus that which escapes and eludes the ultimate ‘camera obscura’ – the human eye, as though opening a parallel universe to us; and restore the powerful and awe inspiring mystery of life! Brief Profiles of Photographers-In-Residence P. Madhavan and Edson Dias: Part of the collective, Goa-Centre for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP) Visual artists P Madhavan and Edson Dias have been experimenting with pinhole cameras - from inventing their own cameras to documenting hidden sub-cultures - for years. They say: “During this residency, we shall seek to use the pinhole camera as performance, installation, image making, and research to achieve conversation between object, space, movement, and time.” P.Madhavan Madhavan is a social photographer and alternative photography artist educated in Paris and New York. As an Indian Foundation for Arts (IFA) fellow working and experimenting with the art of daguerreotype in India, P Madhavan’s social images are widely exhibited in the public spaces all over the world. Madhavan has taught photography to the under-privileged children in India and has a credit of conducting more than 300 successful workshops (In association with Plan International, Christian Children Fund, and DFID). Under the aegis of these workshops, around 2000 children and youth have been trained in social photography. Edson Dias Born in 1970 in Panjim, Goa, is a fine art photographer greatly involved in black and white photography. Dias has been experimenting with pinhole and other silver based imagery for more than half a decade and has exhibited widely in Goa. Mansi Bhatt Mansi Bhatt was born in 1975 in Gujarat, India. She attained a BFA in Painting at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Mumbai. Recent exhibitions include Nynan Kismarra organized by Chatterjee & Lal at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, Mumbai, 2006 (solo), The Gallery at the Mattress Factory Art Museum, Pittsburgh, 2007, and 1st Anniversary Exhibition, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, 2007. She lives in Mumbai. Functioning within the mode of performative photography, the work of Mumbai based artist Mansi Bhatt often lends itself to sculptural and cinematic transformation. During this residency, she wishes to undertake an explorative journey into the unknown and face the challenges therein. She says: “I hope to confront the dark and the fear of the unknown, being able to break it apart, survive through and endure while being responsive to the surroundings and people around and with minimum manipulation.” Ajay Talwar An amateur astronomer for two decades in India, Ajay Talwar is a prolific transient sky events astro-photographer. He has been instrumental in building one of the earliest Dobsonian telescope in India, India’s largest telescope, photographing all the Messier Objects and exhibiting in a travelling exhibition, writing an observation planner and making the Astronomical Calendar for 2010, amongst other activities. Ajay travels with his telescope and photographic equipment all over India to dark locations, shooting pictures of the night sky. To capture the photons from far away deep sky objects, he travels to remote locations. One of his recent travels was to Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, Ladakh, which until recently was the world’s highest observatory. He says: “In this residency, I aspire to undertake work that would essentially be a bridge between science and art.”