Showcasing the intricacies of Jaipur’s, Rajastan, historic architecture through purposely designed video installations and photographic displays, the region is awoken with the dawn of the annual outdoor festival Jaipur Photo. Celebrated as a UNESCO world heritage site, Pink City invites contemporary photography enthusiasts to not only gaze at a collection of diverse images, showcased alongside intriguing lectures from the likes of American artist, writer and this year’s curator, Aaron Schuman, yet also asks viewers to explore the landscape, appreciating the various structures it contains.
The city offers 14 exhibitions in a wealth of public spaces which are temporarily transformed into gallery-like environments, widening the reach of the festival by blurring the boundaries of what an art show can be. The exhibiting artists explore a wealth of iconic elements, investigating the connection between natural and manufactured landscapes, uncovering hidden identities and exploring locally staged social interactions. Ultimately these topics this year’s theme: Homeward Bound.
A highlight of this year’s event negotiates the status of the artist. Social documentary photographer Mr. Chand’s archival work is picked apart by French artist Christophe Prébois. The Artist and the Photographer, a selection of portraits created between 1960s-1970s, focuses on the vivid colours and expressions captured within intimate studio sessions. Displayed in the magnificent palace-like structure of Hawa Mahal, central to the city and to the minds of many of Mr. Chand’s past subjects, the subjects reflect the setting as narratives of weddings and imitate relationships are explored. Once running his studio from neighbouring city of Ajmer, this exhibit becomes even more poignant for the contemporary festival whose focus centres on a celebration of Jaipur, and ultimately, Indian innovation.
Looking beyond physical bodies, Nola Minolfi, a Buenos Aires-born photographer, investigates the connection between vast, untouched landscapes and movement. The Man Who Never Saw the Sea alludes to the all-encompassing environment, with the artist witnessing temporary interruptions in otherwise isolated lands, capturing static planes and portraits of men amidst hills and herds of camouflaged mammals the work alludes to the aftermath of frozen sites and the life which runs through them.
Jaipur Photo runs at various sites around Jaipur, Rajastan. 23 February – 4 March. Find out more here.
1. From John Mclean’s City.