Rudolf Arnheim in one of his papers on the Nature of Photography mentions The Balcony, a play by Jean Genet.
I have browsed it quickly and it is amazing how in a couple of lines of a play mostly centred on the appropriation of revolutions, we may find the answer to some recurrent questions in photography.
After a staged photographic session of bishops, generals and judges (what a mix!) the Queen is informed:
THE ENVOY : It's a true image, born of a false spectacle.
FIRST PHOTOGRAPHER (cynically) : That's common practice, your Majesty. When some rebels were captured, we paid a militiaman to bump off a chap I'd just sent to buy me a packet of cigarettes. The photo shows a rebel shot down while trying to escape.
THE QUEEN: Monstrous!
THE ENVOY : But have things ever happened otherwise? History was lived so that a glorious page might be written, and then read. It's reading that counts.
In Udai's images it is the reading that counts. And something more, he is always capable to suspend reality (my dear obsession).
Somehow for us photographers the whole life is lived so that a glorious photograph might be taken, and then viewed, read. What is wrong with us people?
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Udai's was also among the 5 SCP's best photographers in 2014. The comments on India's contemporary photography found here are still pertinent.
Szilvia, Gabi and Corneliu are coming from a quite large group of photographers having attended the same school. I admit a school with good aesthetics. But what makes a good school or a good teacher?
Is it a good school the one that creates hundreds of photographers with the same perspective and vision (even if the result is quite aesthetic)?
Or, is it a good teacher the one who dies inside the student, the one who allows the talented learner to destroy this very teacher and all the knowledge acquired?
These three images are going beyond the frontal, static framing which of course can be quite a signature, but we can only have one signature per person.
Three images which state their demarcation and detachment from what could be a tight grip on a genuine talent.
Three pictures with a ruptured harmony, a disturbing hesitation and a painful oddity. The only way to break free from the teacher/father/preacher.
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