“The genre of Urban Fragments is something that falls between a direct pictorial image and one that is completely abstract,” shares photographer Anindo Ghosh as he begins to explain the theme of his exhibition, Urban Fragments, which opens in the city tomorrow.
Not having grasped the concept yet, fully, we request him to elaborate: “Pictorial images depict something in its entirety. They tell a complete story. Abstract images, on the other hand, leave it completely to imagination. The famous image of a drop of oil in a puddle of water, where it creates ripples of different colours — it looks beautiful but does not tell a definite story. A fragment is between these two. It is a part of an object that is recognisable, but it leaves enough space to fill in the blanks,” he explains.
We browse through a few photographs and it gets clearer; a photograph titled Chrome Music shows a close-up of a man holding a saxophone: “This frame was captured at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, and has become quite popular. But, I am sure except the artist and the band no one can tell who the guy is,” says Ghosh emphasising that this is what his theme is about.
Though the object can be recognised, the photograph gives the viewer the freedom to weave a story around it. He goes on to add that there is a fragment around which people can build a story. “It enables people to set their mind free without being completely free from an object,” he shares.
Though Ghosh admits that shooting fragments is not a new genre, it is something that has caught his fancy for very long. Many artists have done it in the past. In fact, since the time Ghosh began professional photography in 2003, he has been shooting with this theme in mind. Ghosh has had four exhibitions before and many of them have been on night photography. Forty photographs are going to be part of this exhibition, out of which the earliest have been shot in 2004 and the latest about a week back.
“I have always been interested in this subject and every time I would go out on an assignment, I would shoot a couple of images with this theme in mind; images that are taken for the sake of the photograph, images that appeal to the heart. That’s what fine art photography is about,” he says adding, “I waited to have a body of work of a couple of hundred photographs so I could pick from them for this exhibition.”
Click the imagination
A photograph that is going to be part of this exhibition has been taken at the Opera House in the city and also includes the name in it, but due to the rusty look, many people who have seen it didn’t think it was part of the city, forcing them to go back for a second look. “A guy from Bangalore approached me and asked me when the picture was taken as he said the Opera House doesn’t look like this now. I realised he was talking about the Opera House in Bangalore. This image can be a global image,” he explains.
The photograph he has used in his invitation is an image of a sign board, a bicycle and a bike immersed in yellow orange light, with the objects looking like they are decades old. “People have passed it for ages without noticing it and many could not believe it when I told them it was shot in a bylane of Bandra. Such images have a magnetic draw. Most people when they see these images feel this is something they have seen before. It is addictive and many have come back for a second look,” Ghosh reiterates.
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