Depiction of freedom

June 06, 2012

One of the highlights of last week was the photography exhibition organized by PIX magazine, which is held every four months. There is always a theme decided beforehand, and this time it was freedom. As always, the topic was taken in the broader sense, so the pictures didn't disappoint. They also handed out magazines that documented the different series, and the cover showing a woman standing on a hot stove made it clear that it would not be one set aside very soon. I am no photo critic, but I did have my favorites in the the bunch.

1. Border of Impunity, AM Ahad: The most thought-provoking photographs in the exhibition, I felt, were the ones showing the killing of innocent and unarmed Bangladeshis at the hands of the Indian Border Security Force at the India - Bangladeshi border. The photo above shows a mother standing at her daughter's grave. Enough said.

2. Recent Work, Zachary Becker: This series talked about the differences we create in our minds based solely on the look of an individual. A fair skinned person sticks out like a sore thumb, no matter how similar he is to you and me. The interesting part of these photos, for me, was that the 'odd one out' was a little difficult to spot. The similarities of everyday people were shown in a very interesting way.

3. Deinstitutionalisation, Yask Desai: Another very interesting series was one of a mental institute in Australia. The write-up by Ying Ang was brilliant, a pat of which stuck on in my mind. It said 'Perhaps those that are the most free are the ones that are the least bound by ideals and conventions that we exact upon each other. Perhaps true freedom lies only in chaos and madness. Or solitude.'

4. Phas Gaya - Being Stuck, Enrico Fabian: This photo series held my attention the most during the exhibition, and when I got home, I was quick to read through the write-up to get a better idea of the people in the frames. The series documents the life of a drug addict, his attempt at rehab and the circumstances that lead him back to the use of prescription drugs. According to the write-up, the drugs used cost a measly Rs.40, and are freely available at any chemist. Shocking!

5. The Vadia Wedding, Sunny Lamba: A unique take at wedding photography was one documenting the traditions of the Sarania community in Gujrat, where under-aged girls are married off to keep them from prostitution. The photos are high contrast, closeups, with many showing the children staring intensely into the camera, all adding to the drama of the events at hand.

I really loved the exhibition, as well as the magazine. The write-ups fit very well with the photographs, something that's always important when dealing with a subjective topic. I look forward to the next one.

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  1. Hi Priya! This is going to be pretty random so here it goes: While narcissistically googling myself I came across your wonderful blog. As it turns out, I am artist #2 from this post! Crazy, right!? I lived in Delhi until very recently and participated in the PIX exhibition--I just happened to stumble across your lovely blog and was pleasantly surprised to see I'd made the cut.

    It does get a little crazier though... I just moved to Brooklyn a few months ago and am now calling NYC home. Judging by your posts it looks like you shifted to the city recently too.

    Too many coincidences! Not sure what the best way to be in touch is, but I thought it might be fun to get together sometime. Talk about art/ design... maybe how odd it is that a virtual connection and an art exhibition 11000km could possibly translate into an actual encounter. Maybe?


    P.S. I don't really want to include my personal info on a blog post (i.e. email). Is there a better way to contact you?

  2. Hi Zachary!

    It's such a pleasant coincidence! I really enjoyed your entry to PIX. I attended the exhibition with a photographer friend, maybe you were there too. I would love to meet and talk about art, design, photography and new cities.

    I understand your reluctance to share information on such a public forum. You can send me an email through my blogger account.

    It's great that you came across my blog! :)


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