City Obscura

City Obscura foregrounds the works of three young photographers, Farah Gerda, Surya Mattu and Eeshit Narain, who have lived predominantly in urban spaces and have chosen to visually respond to its complexities. The show’s title alludes to the camera obscura, which was the earliest visual instrument for photographically oriented work, used to view the city for furthering painterly effort. The works of this exhibition re examine oft viewed urban spaces from Mumbai, Delhi and New York and propose a conceptual kinship as also a technological contrast to the early camera through experiments with cutting edge digital technology. While the photographer today presents images of unprecedented precision and clarity, heightening the scope of ‘realism’ enabled by the medium, digital methods also pose the contradictions of intervened visual reproduction, challenging the assumed connect between camera and realism. Digital applications allow to ironically ‘obscure’ the city in almost painterly ways, scrambling perceptions of realist form and colour by carefully selecting, colouring, magnifying and juxtaposing elements.

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