Robert Frank's "Trolley, New Orleans 1955" was indeed like a contact sheet … a notion that in the digital era has only an archival and historical use (if any). Frank's image was presenting many different frames, stories, emotions put together in a single shot. A political essay and statement on the american society of segregation.
Koushik's picture is the most successful among any conscious or subconscious replications of Frank's iconic picture I have ever seen …
In addition, it is more honest, no declarations, no opinions or judgments … (just observing without judging, dear to a particular eastern philosophy)!
Only one more thing I have to add … Robert Frank's picture was a single shot! Check out the 81 contact sheets from "The Americans": a single shot, exposure 16, of an ISO125 KODAK PLUS-X film!
And that shot was/is the favourite of hundreds of photographers, it made the cover of the book, it made Kerouac write about it …
And my haunting question is: Why on earth we cannot do such pictures anymore? Is it because triggering the shutter means nothing in terms of cost and it won't consume another exposure of the once precious film roll? Is it because no one waits anymore for the meaningful moment to shoot?
Whatever the reason, I think it is time to have every picture accompanied by its subsequent and preceding shots. I need to see what was there before and after. I need a contact sheet. And I need to see why, with all this unbelievable digital gear, we are unable to make a difference, an icon, a meaningful image …
I am taking also the liberty to declare us victims of a technology that has taken over our visual sensibility and it just records randomly and accidentally.
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