"Subtextual Documentalists' An exhibition of photographs by Jyoti Bhatt, Manisha Gera Baswani & Noh Suntag at Korean Cultural Centre, A - 25, Lajpat Nagar IV > 21st August to 11th September 2015

Time : 9.00 am - 6.00 pm (Monday to Friday) Add to Calendar 21/08/2015 09:00 11/09/2015 18:00 Asia/Kolkata "Subtextual Documentalists' An exhibition of photographs by Jyoti Bhatt, Manisha Gera Baswani & Noh Suntag Event Page : http://www.delhievents.com/2015/08/subtextual-documentalists-exhibition-of.html
Note : Closed on Weekends
Exhibition Gallery, Korean Cultural Center, A-25, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi - 110024 DD/MM/YYYY

Entry : Free

Venue : Exhibition Gallery, Korean Cultural Center, A-25, Lajpat Nagar IV, New Delhi - 110024
Venue Info : india.korean-culture.org | Map | Nearest Metro Station - 'Moolchand(Violet Line)'
Phone : 011 4334 5000

Event Description : Korean Cultural Centre, India & SITE Art Space in collaboration with The Collective Studio Baroda Presents "Subtextual Documentalists' An exhibition of photographs by Jyoti Bhatt, Manisha Gera Baswani (Indian Artist) & Noh Suntag (Korean Artist)

Subtextual Documentalists is an exhibition that was part of one-year collaboration between SITE art space and The Collective Studio Baroda. The exhibition was first shown in Vadodara in which only the works of Jyoti Bhatt and Manisha Gera Baswani were presented. The show then travelled to Mumbai. It was the idea of artist Kim Kyoungae to suggest that we expand the show to include Korean artist Noh Suntag and present the exhibition at the Korean Cultural Centre in Delhi. The director Kim Kum-Pyoung has very kindly supported this venture. Our grateful thanks to architect Chang-Hyun Kim for his contribution in making this project possible
·         The process of archiving is the preservation of things considered to be of significance. The need to keep memory alive for posterity, so that it remains palpable and assertive long after its occurrence, allows for personal histories and individual undertakings to contribute to larger episodes of historical narratives. Such endeavours hold socio-cultural value as they call attention to subjects that lie outside of prescriptive academic interests, and which would otherwise be lost or forgotten without this insistence to memorialising them through independent processes of historicity.
·         Jyoti Bhatt and Manisha Gera Baswani are self-designated documentalists. The camera became an interjectory tool quite by accident for both these artists. However, they very quickly adapted to observing life through a camera lens, and began to use it in diaristic ways. Their common interest in documenting their respective contemporary surroundings by photographing them persistently and exhaustively, offers us revelations that would otherwise be obscured and off limits from any recorded scrutiny.
·         These photographs record events and occurrences of the life and times of an art community, and by virtue of their proximity to the professions of their subjects, Jyoti Bhatt and Manisha Gera Baswani become participants unwittingly within this chronicled history; lending these images a subtext of autobiographic interpretation.  Being privy to these private worlds disallows them from ever becoming voyeurs. Instead you recognise the ambient connection they forge with these photographic narratives that also reflect the prevailing cultural climate they both belong to.
·         Jyoti Bhatt’s black and white photographs presented in this exhibition evoke an era where the climate of cultural change within India was charged with passionate discourse, and where the implementation of newly formed governing modules for national platforms of art activities were being strategized. Art education and independent art practices began to flourish in post-colonial India. Stalwarts like N.S.Bendre, Sankho Chowdhury and K.G Subramanyan, along with cultural theorists, re-phrased aesthetic canons that were instrumental in shaping those early years of Indian contemporary art. Many of the people photographed in these images were engaged in articulating ideas of modernity, and its newly phrased implications. Jyoti Bhatt places these moments of personal struggle and collective enquiry before us, without any desire to underline its historical importance, but instead offers it as a personal journey he has been part of. In his usual self-effacing way, he underplays his role as a visual orator who immortalised an era of seminal change within Indian contemporary art.  What we receive therefore is the gift of a genealogy through this documentation, to which we can trace our own belonging.
·         Manisha Gera Baswani’s coloured photographs on the other hand, take you into a more assured stance of contemporary Indian art history, where the artist and their practice has acquired a more autonomous space of existence. In this time zone the discourse of Indian art has shifted to encompass the global as a context of belonging. The lens holds focus on her subjects, often in isolation, making them occupy centre stage, thereby emphasizing the role of the artist as an individual - confident and firmly entrenched within a social space of urban acceptance. Her photo documentation is culled from the terrain of an establishment that already holds its rightful place within today’s contemporary cultural history. As a viewer you are led into each photo image to confer with a space of private thought, where you recognise the prevailing intimacy of the moment as fleeting, and therefore supremely special. Manisha Gera Baswani holds you captive to the celebration of artistic musings. She draws your attention to the details that illuminate the character of her subjects and their relationship with their work. Whether in a gallery space, in their studios or homes, or in the quiet solitude of reverie, the world of the artist becomes the sequestered prism through which all else is viewed. Contemporaneity recorded will now lend itself to posterity. 
·         On the other hand Korean artist Noh Suntag’s entry into documenting images that holds disturbing questions of an ever bourgeoning militaristic might that nationalism breeds today, is much more a considered choice and originates from his own education as a political science student. Becoming a reporter he wrote for local newspapers and as a consequence began to take accompanying photographs. He soon found however, that photography began to hold his complete interest and so he opted to become a full time photographer. His interest in social issues exposed him to the scenes of conflict that he says allowed him to view the gap between what he saw and how it was portrayed in the news media. It made him question the accuracy of the captured moment. Believing photographs to hold transparent truth, he mentions in an interview to the Korea Times that he soon comprehended how misleading displaced photographic moments could be and that it was this space of mischief- where interpretations can become maneuvered – that he finds most fascinating.   He sees the way the same photographed image can be accommodated in different spaces and be received in different ways: as a news item, as art in a gallery or as propaganda in a leaflet. Sharply political, Noh Suntag views his engagement with issues from the prism of being part artist, part journalist and part activist. He believes that his works function as triggers to provoke an enquiry and does not attempt for them to be conclusive proclamations. What perhaps holds the viewer most intrigued is that despite the seriousness of the content of his visuals, Suntag invests his images with a wry sense of humour and irony –where photographs that detail real-life situations directly related to the division of Korea, present the military as spectacle; and which allude to the desensitisation of war and imminent violence forever a threatening reality in that region, as though it were part of a gaming reality. Encountered with these disquieting images we are obliged to interpolate and reflect upon other histories that echo through these frozen frames, which remind us that similar patterns of futility have already been played out before.

Curated by: Rekha Rodwittiya

Related Events : Exhibitions
"Subtextual Documentalists' An exhibition of photographs by Jyoti Bhatt, Manisha Gera Baswani & Noh Suntag at Korean Cultural Centre, A - 25, Lajpat Nagar IV > 21st August to 11th September 2015 "Subtextual Documentalists' An exhibition of photographs by Jyoti Bhatt, Manisha Gera Baswani & Noh Suntag at Korean Cultural Centre, A - 25, Lajpat Nagar IV > 21st August to 11th September 2015 Reviewed by DelhiEvents on Friday, September 11, 2015 Rating: 5

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