Published: Verve Magazine, March 2013, Framed
This month, the hotbed of Mumbai’s arts and culture scene throws its doors open to still visuals. Verve gives you a preview of the frames to come
Hot on the heels of the Kala Ghoda festival, where the lay person creates magic with his camera phone, snapping away at the thought-provoking installations on display, comes, FOCUS, Mumbai’s first free photography festival to be held in the last two weeks of this month. Not surprising then, is the theme of The City, where a range of budding and established photographers, both local and international, make their lens-way over to receptive centres in South Mumbai. In a bid to throw a deeper net and engage a wider audience, the exhibition runs with the usual suspects in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai, like the Terrace Gallery (Jehangir Art Complex) and the Max Mueller Bhavan Gallery (Rampart Row) and onto fresh faces like Bombay Electric, Bungalow 8, Design Temple, Filter, Good Earth, Hermes and Kala Ghoda Café.
From early Bombay images (1850-1890) curated by academic Susan Hapgood to contemporary photography by women curated by photographer Sunil Gupta and curator Veerangana Solanki, from Risham Syed’s Metropolyptical: A Tale of a City to Sooni Taraporevala’s Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India, from talks, workshops, photography books and magazines to portfolio review sessions…FOCUS, co-founded by Nicola Antaki, Elise Foster Vander Elst and Matthieu Foss, promises to be a dynamic vision of the future.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE CITY AS A POWERFUL VISUAL METAPHOR?
The City, as a backdrop for the lives of the majority of the word’s population is a tremendous source of inspiration for photographers. We wish to present photo projects from the very local, to much wider global contexts – from a photo-journalistic point of view as well as from more artistic interpretations, from issues pertaining to local routine, as well as more aesthetic studies on architecture and urbanism. Images from Mumbai will co-exist with some from cities around the world thus encouraging constructive dialogue.
YOU’VE OPENED UP NON-GALLERY SPACES LIKE CAFÉS AND STORES TO A PHOTOGRAPHY DIALOGUE….
A festival is the ideal way to create bridges between communities on a particular subject or art form, and with exhibitions and events taking place throughout the city in traditional spaces as well as alternative ones, we will benefit from an exciting cross-pollination of audiences and create true synergies.