Top 10 at The FOCUS Festival!

Nicola Antaki , 19 Mar 2013
Unknown photographer, Bombay--Elephanta Cave Interior, ca. 1880, Collection Tasveer Foundation
Unknown photographer, Bombay–Elephanta Cave Interior, ca. 1880,
Collection Tasveer Foundation

1. A Fantastic Legacy: Early Bombay Photography, From 1840 to 1900

Curated by Susan Hapgood

At: Galerie Max Mueller, Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai, K. Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda

The exhibition presents over 100 original images dating from 1850 to 1900, gathered from public and private collections, and displayed throughout the gallery in various formats. This comprehensive show explores the rich 19th century history of photography in Mumbai and features some of the earliest anthropological studies that used photography, as well as stunning architectural city scenes, portraits, stereoviews, and some of the first art photographs ever taken in Bombay. It also features an interactive learning area and walk-in camera obscura, to bring to life the fascinating innovation of early photography. In collaboration with the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai and Mumbai Art Room.

2: A Photograph is Not an Opinion – Contemporary Photography by Women.
© Anusha Yadav, Sanjana from the series 'In Tune for Fame', 2011
© Anusha Yadav, Sanjana from the series ‘In Tune for Fame’, 2011

Curated by Sunil Gupta with Veeranganakumari Solanki.

At: Terrace Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda.
Thursday, March 14 to Wednesday, March 27., Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 7pm

Through the prism of work by emerging and mid-career women photographers based in India and abroad, this show will look at how women photographers have complicated photography as a medium as well as celebrating their diversity worldwide. In collaboration with the Mohile Parikh Center and the Japan Foundation

3: 37 Indian Still Lifes
© Adil Hasan-Tasveer Untitled #25 from the TV series, 2011
© Adil Hasan-Tasveer Untitled #25 from the TV series, 2011

A group exhibition presented by Tasveer in association with Art Musings

At: Art Musings, 1, Admiralty Building, Colaba Cross Lane, Colaba, 022 2216 3339 / 2218 6071,, [email protected]
Thursday, March 14 – Saturday, April 13, Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 11am – 7pm; Saturday 11am – 5.30pm; Sunday, closed

For this exhibition, Tasveer gave a brief to 37 of the leading photographers working in India today to investigate the subject of still life, and to see how this subject can be explored in a specifically Indian context. Whilst one of the central genres in the history of art, this has been an all but neglected field of enquiry in contemporary photography in India – overshadowed primarily by the social documentary of Indian photographers and the increasingly conceptualised gaze of foreign reportage in the country. As such, the cultures, events and landscape of India are often documented, but the presentation of physical objects, and the narratives therein, remain largely un-investigated.

4: Group Exhibition, Gigi Scaria, Mithu Sen, Pooja Iranna and Baiju Parthan
Gigi Scaria, Puzzled yet undaunted, 2012
Gigi Scaria, Puzzled yet undaunted, 2012

At: The Guild, 02/32, Kamal Mansion, 2nd Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, 022 2288 0116 / 2288 0195,, [email protected], [email protected]
Thursday, March 14 to Wednesday, March 27, Opening hours: Monday to Saturday, 10am – 6.30pm; Sunday, closed.

The question this show poses is between the various mediums of image making, depiction and archive – the use of the video format, which itself has expanded its role to encompass the archival in conceptual art to documentation and narrative – in conjunction with photography and its expanded field of contemplation – the making of an image has not only changed but has also obtained a fluidity between the mediums. The exhibition proposes to ask whether there is a distinction between the two mediums and if so what changes take place in those distinctions as it relates to the final image, or experience of experience – each distinction being under question – as the image moves from one to the other.

5: Free Open Library
Open Library and Portfolio reviews at Cheval, the FOCUS Festival Hub
Open Library and Portfolio reviews at Cheval, the FOCUS Festival Hub

Photography books and magazines provided by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council and Photo Corner

Venue address: Cheval Bar & Restaurant, 2nd Floor, 145 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Above Khyber, Opp. Rhythm House, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai

6: Portfolio reviews with experts in photo based work at the FOCUS Festival Hub, Cheval, Kala Ghoda.

Portfolio reviewers will include:
Chirodeep Chaudhuri
Fawzan Husain
Girish Mistry
Kedar Bhat
P. Madhavan
Matthieu Foss

Gauri Gill
Niyatee Shinde
Nrupen Madhvani
Prashant Panjiar
Sunil Gupta
Sunhil Sippy
Shahid Datawala
Veeranganakumari Solanki

To register please contact us at [email protected]

7: Visual Evidence
Anonymous, Bureaucrat on holiday at the Airport, Madurai, hand painted photograph, circa 1970s
Anonymous, Bureaucrat on holiday at the Airport, Madurai, hand painted photograph, circa 1970s

Venue: Clark House Initiative, Ground Floor, Clark House, 8 Nathalal Parekh Marg (Old Wodehouse Road), Colaba, 098202 13816,, [email protected]
Friday, March 1 to Sunday, March 31, Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 7pm

The exhibition from the Clark House curatorial archive gives credence to a trajectory of art historical scholarship, from Partha Mitter to Jyotindra Jain and Tapati Guha-Thakurta, who subtly interpreted the collapse of visual iconographies of nationalism, fundamentalism, and religious pantheons. The exhibition plays with the chronologies of mediums gaining in popularity in India, as put forward by writers like Girish Shahane, from the hand-painted photograph to paintings inspired by photo- journalism. It is also a careful look at mixtures of style within works: where hunted deer, or fighter planes stylistically differ from the pastoral landscapes that surround them. Toying with calibrations of what has been previously debated, the exhibition adds absurdist iconographies into the fray, from lesser-known contemporaries of the better known studios.

8: Poseurs, Gigi Scaria, Gregory Crewdson, Noriko Yamaguchi, Nandini Valli Muthiah and Vivek Vilasini

Waswo X. Waswo, The Sufi, Black and white digital photograph hand colored by Rajesh Soni. 2008
Waswo X. Waswo, The Sufi, Black and white digital photograph hand colored by Rajesh Soni. 2008

Venue: Sakshi Gallery, 6/19, Grants Building, 2nd Floor, Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba, 022 6610 3424,, [email protected]
Thursday, March 14 to Sunday, March 24, Opening hours: Daily, 11am – 6pm

Within the context of contemporary photography, this exhibition focuses on artists that employ the culture of staging. An intrinsic element of which is posing, and the exhibition foregrounds the dual nature of Poseurs. Gregory Crewdson’s works are a vivid depiction of suburbia and its dark realities, Gigi Scaria alludes to the voyeurism intrinsic to urban existence in his series Conscience Keeper while Waswo X. Waswo brings the bustle of a city into his carefully designed studio environs. Japanese artist, Noriko Yamaguchi develops a futuristic image of humans in her series, Keitai Girl (mobile phone girl). Vivek Vilasini uses an urban backdrop for his bent, crouched and desperate, job-seeking youths. The artists are delving into various themes, including identity and alienation, new and old, sacred and profane, all connected by the thread of an urban gaze.

9: Equivalences, Raymonde April
© Raymonde April, Stade, chantier olympique (stadium, olympic site) Beijing, 2008
© Raymonde April, Stade, chantier olympique (stadium, olympic site) Beijing,

Exhibition supported by the Bureau du Québec in Mumbai, in collaboration with What About Art?and Space 118, with thanks to the Horniman Circle Garden Trust.

“Equivalences gathers a selection of 12 images by Canadian photographer from Québec, Raymonde April, taken in Québec (Montréal, 2007-2012), China (Beijing, 2008) with a new group of 4 images taken in Bombay (2012-2013) during a recent residency. Each of the three groups contains urban landscapes, portraits and scenes of everyday life, foregrounding figures within space, and integrating prosaic elements that assume poetic form by means of the transformative power of photography.

Venue: Horniman Circle Gardens, Horniman Circle, Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Fort.
Wednesday, March 13 to Wednesday, March 27, Opening hours: Daily, 10am – 8pm

10: Film Screening, Annie Leibovitz: Life Through a Lens (2008), Barbara Leibovitz (Director).

Presented by CMYK Bookstores and GoodEarth. Limited seating available, rsvp mandatory: [email protected] [email protected] or 022 24951954 / 022 65285284, Venue address: GoodEarth, Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Senapati Bapat Marg, Mumbai
Wednesday, March 20, 6.30pm onwards.


PS. Those tees are for sale along with catalogues and coasters at the FOCUS festival hub, at Cheval, KalaGhoda! xoxo


Related Stories

Related Stories

More Better Living