Topic | Authors

Saumyakanti Bhattacharya

“When filmmaking runs that deep, it never becomes familiar”. Scorsese’s remark on Kurosawa reminds us of how little we understand, not only of cinema but of life itself. Irrespective of all the disciplinary appreciations and criticisms we undertake, none of us can fully decipher an auteur’s philosophical foundation. Cinema, just like other major art forms has developed across continents – in cultures across the globe presents their respective identities. To be able to perceive works of such a vast domain demands a considerable level of education in the history and …

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Saumyakanti Bhattacharya

At the climax of his photographic journey, he becomes intimately personal, dissolving the rigidity of forms and structures. But the journey that took him to that place of an internal investigation is grounded in the revelations that different phases of his career provided him. Born in Calcutta, the genesis of Prabuddha Dasgupta’s career lay in his indulgence with portraits. He has produced both commissioned and personal pieces of work. Almost all of his colour photographs belong to commissioned projects. Even then, irrespective of Dasgupta’s expertise, amongst the differences that he manages to capture between these two strains of photography, the commercial approach is deeply rooted in our inherent wish “to be as we appear, rather than appear as we are” hoping that expression and body language will convey our aspirations or indifference to those who may later gaze upon our visage. On the other hand, his character traits as a portrait artist which he would later imply in his more personal projects are visibly planted even in his earlier rhetoric of image-making….

Monsoon Rains, Monghyr, Bihar, 1967. ©2020 Succession Raghubir Singh

Santasil Mallik

The dialectical tensions and transitions between academic art import and oriental art tradition achieve formal synthesis in the aesthetic trajectory of Raghubir Singh. These non-photographic traditions can be astutely read as proto-modernist models that awaited the language of photography in the age of advanced modernism. Singh’s work is geographically categorised by territorial, cultural-historical, and ecological distinctions (Rajasthan, Kashmir, Kumbh Mela, The Ganges, The Grand Trunk Road, etc.). Yet, the density of human actions and their multifaceted interactions with immediate social circumstances surpass the burden of trite cultural signifiers associated with these spaces. What comes across in all his works, despite the different geographical locations and content, is the formalist contiguity of manifold gestures and intuitive movements in India’s social habitat….

Untitled,(T.C.Boring, Greenwood, Mississippi) by William Eggleston

Siddhanta Goswami

Greenwood Mississippi (1973) better known as The Red Ceiling by William Eggleston, showing a cross of white cables leading to a bare lightbulb. The colour red gives an erotic association with the interior space, which is echoed by the poster of a diagram showing different sexual positions. The poster’s depiction of interlocked bodies might even be seen as giving suggestive connotations to the cluster of little plugs drawing electricity from the cable that lights the bare bulb.
The images made by the Memphis born, self-taught photographer, shows us moments of our everyday life that are overlooked, lost or Scenes we don’t care to see until it’s a photograph. It is like a war with the obvious, in Eggleston’s soft spoken voice.

Ayan Dawn

Bohun Lynch in his book A History of Caricature (1926) writes, “…….we may say that caricature is, amongst the other things, the portrayal of an individual, as seen by another, without regard to the rules of drawing. Joseph Conrad, in Nostromo, speaks (and as it happens without any apparent thought of caricature in his mind) of “putting the face of a joke upon the body of truth”, which very neatly serves to describe at least one aspect of the art.”
Caricatures can simply be a form of entertainment-or the art can be employed to make deep intellectual engagement-Sem’s caricatures managed (and still manages) to do both.

Santasil Mallik

“Caricatures are known for their play between distortion and recognition, violence and humour, entertaining mockery and thoughtful inquisition. To understand the political-aesthetics of caricatures and their fluidity in containing critical political positions, it would be interesting to revisit Gaganendranath Tagore’s short but prolific stint in caricature drawings. I would attempt to reflect on the interaction between caricature as a form and Gaganendranath’s political project in the context of the nationalist movement.”