Counting cars

Updated: 13 September, 2020 08:13 IST | Prutha Bhosle | Mumbai

Photographer Gerardo Korn's second exhibition in Mumbai of vehicular marvels from the '60s and '70s on the streets of Buenos Aires, speaks of time standing still, a dominant theme of the pandemic

Gerardo Korn, well known Argentine-German photographer, is back with yet another fascinating project titled, Cars In The Night—Buenos Aires. This is his second exhibition in India. Presented by the Cosmic Heart Gallery and the Consulate General and Promotion Centre of the Argentine Republic in Mumbai, the virtual exhibition is guaranteed to transport the viewer to the archaeological neighbourhoods of the city. "I always lived in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, therefore my relationship with the city was somewhat distant. With time and especially with my first photography project, that has changed, although sometimes I still feel like a tourist in my own city. Therefore, it was crucial for me to document one of my favourite aspects—its classic cars," says Korn.

Another Torino, but in this case a four-door sedan. "I discovered it in an area where there are still many colonial style houses and old warehouses, and as we see, also this school, which gives the perfect framework for this colourful ensemble," says Korn
Another Torino, but in this case a four-door sedan. "I discovered it in an area where there are still many colonial style houses and old warehouses, and as we see, also this school, which gives the perfect framework for this colourful ensemble," says Korn

He says cars, mordant and classic, fascinate him. Last year, he led himself to unite the recurring need for photographic exploration with his affection for automobiles, especially those that marked his youth and childhood, that is, models from the late sixties and seventies. "Two elements came together in this work—my photographic project on Buenos Aires, which resulted in the exhibition held last year in Mumbai titled Behind The Scenes, and my passion for cars. The cars symbolise the passage of time. They signify nostalgia and joy at the same time, they symbolise solitude and are an instance of time frozen in a frenzied city of millions."

The little Fiat 600, affectionately called "bolita", which means small sphere, stands in front of a strangely pruned tree. It produced an image with a kitsch aesthetic that caught Korn's attention
The little Fiat 600, affectionately called "bolita", which means small sphere, stands in front of a strangely pruned tree. It produced an image with a kitsch aesthetic that caught Korn's attention

A majority of the cars featured in his series are left parked on the side of streets, unattended. Some, however, are still cared for by their owners. The scenes, he says, had to be correctly illuminated by the street lamps without dazzling the lens. "I came across several interesting cars that were in places that were too dark, so I couldn't photograph them. The ones in this series were standing in places where the light from the lamps was more or less falling in the right place."

Gerardo Korn
Gerardo Korn

Jalpa Vithalani, curator of the exhibition, says, "As we engage the audience today with virtual exhibitions, we are nudged to reflect by these photos. The parked cars are symbolic of humans having been forced to 'park' or halt due to the pandemic, in a some sort of timeless limbo. A vehicle is a symbol of movement, but here it represents stillness and harmony."

What: Cars In The Night—Buenos Aires
Where: http://cosmicheart gallery.info/artists/GK/gerardokorn_cars-in-th-night-artworks.html
When: Ongoing, till October 15

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First Published: 13 September, 2020 07:49 IST

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