Invited by Agat Sharma and Tushar Gupta the hosts for Design Polygon, a week long workshop, I landed in Jaipur to facilitate a photography workshop. This workshop was not aimed at teaching students how to photograph, rather it was aimed at understanding how photographs and images function in our lives and how might we be able to change/alter/modify/play with this using techniques that artists have used. It started off with this manifesto
(Les Recontres Arles Photographie 2011.The manifesto is written by the five curators of the exhibition:Clément Chéroux, curator in the Cabinet de la Photographie, Centre Pompidou. Lives and works in Paris.Joan Fontcuberta, artist. Lives and works in Barcelona.Erik Kessels, founding member and artistic director of KesselsKramer. Lives and works in Amsterdam.Martin Parr, photographer of the Magnum agency. Lives and works in Bristol.Joachim Schmid, artist. Lives and works in Berlin.)
The installation process at Jawahar Kala Kendra was in itself an extremely exciting process as we were not allowed to put anything on the walls. Having taken them on a walk through the Bazaars in the city area in Jaipur we used the methods used there and came up with a wonderful way to display the work. The ropes on which the work was hung ran through the room from window to window, wrapping itself around pillars looking like washing lines. We bought plastic clips that you use on washing lines to hang the pictures.
Photographs that were meant to be touched and not seen were placed on the whiteboard and Eshmita held people’s hands and guided them through the process. Her work was on looking at access to the visually impaired.
Riya’s work that looked at how politics and the resultant laws affected their rights to education wrapped itself around a pillar.
Wish I had had more time with the students, they turned out to be a wonderful bunch – really warm. This workshop wasn’t just about facilitating and giving them information and introducing them to methodologies, it turned out to be such a huge learning graph for me in terms of the whole act of facilitation itself. The even more exciting bit about the workshop was being able to interact with fellow facilitators – Maya KrishnaRao, Anirudh Nair and Amba Suhasini and Agat Sharma our host who is a really exciting artist I have worked with in the past. Hopefully we will all come together again to see how our practices can intersect. And of course Pearl Academy turned out be an extremely generous host, I can’t remember being treated so well ever before!