PHOTOINK presents The Passerby, an exhibition of black and white street photography from the archives of Ketaki Sheth, Pablo Bartholomew, Raghu Rai and Sooni Taraporevala.
Spanning the 1970s-2000, these photographs offer a view of the golden period of street photography in India, when photographers roamed the streets, endlessly, to take photographs. It was a time when permission and consent were not negotiated in writing and the photographer could photograph with tacit understanding from passers-by. Photographing the street has increasingly become a complex and contested space today, surveillance and privacy issues notwithstanding. Everyone with a mobile phone is now a street photographer.
For a medium defined by chance, regardless, the street photograph is its most potent and tender expression. Being one of the most practiced genres in photographic history, it carries the potential to transcend the conflicts of the times and present conditions of civil society as it evolves. Viewed through the lens of some of India’s most acclaimed photographers, the street is simultaneously a menagerie, a performative space, a place of repose and quiet revelations. This exhibition examines the street as a site of their engagement and encounter with the passerby.
PHOTOINK announces two new artists’ representations—the photographs of Raghu Rai and Pablo Bartholomew. Going forward, both will only issue silver gelatin prints from their archives. For information about the continuity of the existing edition structure, please contact Devika Daulet-Singh.
PHOTOINK : The Passerby
Ketaki Sheth, Pablo Bartholomew, Raghu Rai & Sooni Taraporevala
Until 26 June 2022
A-4 Green Avenue Street
Off Green Avenue
Vasant Kunj, New Dehli
Ketaki Sheth (b.1957, Bombay) has been making photographs for almost 40 years and until 2014 was a committed analogue photographer who only used black and white film.
Her publications include Twinspotting: Photographs of Patel Twins in Britain & India (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1999); Bombay Mix: Street Photographs (Dewi Lewis Publishing and Sepia International, 2007), A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Africans of Indian Descent (PHOTOINK, 2013) and Photo Studio (PHOTOINK, 2018).
Sheth’s key solo exhibitions include On Belonging: Photographs of Indians of African Descent, National Portrait Gallery, London (2015); A Certain Grace: The Sidi, Africans of Indian Descent, National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi (2013); Bombay Mix at Emile Zola Gallery and at Fête du Livre, Aix-en-Provence (2008).
Her photographs reside in major museum and private collections including Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, Massachusetts; Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, Milan; Higashikawa Museum, Hokkaido; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Peabody Essex Museum, Massachusetts; Raphael Tous Collection, Madrid; The Alkazi Collection, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai; The Tia Collection, Mumbai, Dubai, London and The University of Arizona, Museum of Art, Arizona.
Sheth lives and works in Mumbai.
Pablo Bartholomew (b.1955, New Delhi) is a self-taught photographer whose practice spans nearly five decades. Since 1979 he’s had over 30 solo exhibitions at galleries, museums, biennales, and photo festivals in India and abroad and his work is part of prominent public and private collections. Since 2000, Bartholomew has been excavating his photographic archive, revisiting the period between 1970 to 1983, resulting in a trilogy — Chronicles of a Past Life: Bombay, PHOTOINK, New Delhi (2012); Outside In: A Tale of Three Cities, PHOTOINK, New Delhi (2013); and The Calcutta Diaries, Art Heritage, New Delhi (2012).
International exhibitions include Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, (2018 & 2016), Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2017), ‘Memories of the Future – Indian Modernity’, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2017, Where Three Dreams Cross at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010), and at Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2010), Month of Photography, Tokyo, Japan (2007) and Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France (2007), Angkor Photo Festival, Siem Reap, Cambodia (2006), Nooderlicht Photo Festival, Netherlands (2006 & 2007), Chobimela, Dhaka, Bangladesh (2006), Photographers Gallery, London, (1982) and Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1982).
Working with his art critic father’s archive of photographs and writings, in 2008, Bartholomew co-conceived the book and exhibition, A Critic’s Eye, which portrayed the cultural milieu of 1950s – 1980s through intimate photographs of his family and artist friends. In September 2012, he self-published Richard Bartholomew—The Art Critic, a voluminous collection of his father’s writings on modern Indian art that chronicled the untold, insider story of the birth of Modern Indian Art.
From 1983 to 2004, Bartholomew’s photojournalistic work featured in every major international publication and won him three World Press Photo awards, including the first prize in 1975 for his series on morphine addicts. In 1984 he won the World Press Photo ‘Picture of the Year’ award for his iconic image of the Bhopal gas tragedy.
In 2013 Bartholomew was awarded a Padma Shri and in 2014 received the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French government. He is continuing his long-term project on Indian émigrés, discovering his Burmese roots and expanding on the DNA-based cross-border project, which incorporates textiles and weaving between India, Bangladesh, and Burma. Bartholomew is based in Delhi.
Raghu Rai (b.1942, Jhang, Pakistan) is the most influential photographer in India. He qualified as a civil engineer and began photographing at the age of 23. He joined The Statesman newspaper as their chief photographer (1966-1976) and thereafter was the Picture Editor with Sunday, a weekly news magazine published from Calcutta (1977-1980). In 1971, impressed by Rai’s exhibition at Gallery Delpire in Paris, Henri Cartier-Bresson nominated Rai to Magnum Photos.
Rai took over as Picture Editor-Visualizer-Photographer at India Today between 1982-1991. He worked on special issues and designs, contributing trailblazing picture essays on social, political and cultural themes of the decade.
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1972 for his work on the liberation war of Bangladesh and its refugees. In 2009, he was conferred the Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. In 2018, he was honoured by Lucie Foundation, New York as Master of Photojournalism. In 2019, Rai was honoured as the laureate of the first edition of the Academie des Beaux Arts Photography Award – William Klein.
Raghu Rai’s photo essays have been published in the world’s leading magazines and newspapers since the late 1970s. He has authored 62 books, including Saint Teresa of Calcutta: A Celebration of Her Life and Legacy (2017), People: His Finest Portraits (2016), Picturing Time: The Greatest Photographs of Raghu Rai (2015), Bangladesh: The Price of Freedom (2013), Varanasi: A Portrait of a Civilisation (2011), Bombay — Mumbai: Where Dreams Don’t Die (2010), India’s Great Master — A Photographic Journey into the Heart of Classical Music (2010), Calcutta — Kolkata (2008), Raghu Rai’s India — Reflections in Black & White (2007), Raghu Rai’s India — Reflections in Colour (2008), Men, Mettle & Steel (1998), Tibet in Exile (1991, 2012), Raghu’s Delhi (1985, 1992), Calcutta (1989), Taj Mahal (1986), The Sikhs (1984, 2002), Mother Teresa — Faith and Compassion (1971, 1996) and Indira Gandhi (1971, 1985).
Rai’s exhibition history in India and abroad is exhaustive and his photographs are widely collected by public and private collectors. Solo exhibitions include A Journey of a Moment in Time, Palais de l’Institut de France, Paris (2019), Trees at PHOTOINK (2013), Foto Freo Festival, Perth (2011), Format Festival (2011), The Journey of a Moment in Time: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of Modern Art (New Delhi & Mumbai, 2008), Photographs: Raghu Rai at Casa Asia, Barcelona (2008) and Asiatica Film Mediale, Rome (2008), A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at Les Rencontres De La Photographie, Arles (2007), India at Museo Capitolini Centrale Montemartini, Rome (2005), Bhopal 1984-2004 at Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam (2005), Exposure at Drik Gallery, Dhaka and at Leica Gallery, Prague (2004), and Solo Show at Sala Consiliare, Venice and at Photographic Gallery, Helsinki (2003), La India at Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City (1999) and A Retrospective: Raghu Rai at National Gallery of Modern Art (1997).
In 2012, Raghu Rai set up the Raghu Rai Center for Photography in Gurugram to share his knowledge and experience with younger photographers. He lives in New Delhi.
Sooni Taraporevala (b. 1957, Bombay) received a scholarship to attend Harvard University, where she studied English Literature, Film and Photography. After her BA, she enrolled in the Cinema Studies Department at New York University for her MA. In 1981, she returned to India to work as a freelance still photographer. In 1986 she wrote her first screenplay, Salaam Bombay!, for director/producer Mira Nair. The film was nominated for an Oscar, won more than twenty-five awards worldwide, and earned Taraporevala the Lillian Gish Award from Women in Film in 1988. Her second screenplay, Mississippi Masala, also for Mira Nair, won the Osella award for Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival, 1990.
Other screenplay credits include films Such a Long Journey, based on the novel by Rohinton Mistry and directed by Sturla Gunnarson, which earned Taraporevala a Genie nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television; My Own Country, based on the book by Abraham Verghese and directed by Mira Nair for Showtime television; the film Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar directed by Dr Jabbar Patel for the Government of India and the National Film Development Corporation of India, and The Namesake, directed by Mira Nair, based on the book by Jhumpa Lahiri.
She wrote and directed her first feature film, Little Zizou, 2008, which won a National Award as well as several international awards.
In 2000 she authored and published a book of her photographs PARSIS: The Zoroastrians of India; A Photographic Journey. Photographs from Parsis were included in Tate Modern’s 2001 exhibition, Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis, Lille 3000 in Lille 2006, India Moderna, IVAM Institut Valencia d’Art Modern 2008, Photoquai, Musee de Quai Branly, 2009 and solo exhibitions at Harvard University’s Sert Gallery (2012), Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai (2013), National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi (2013). The photographs are a part of the NGMA’s permanent collection.
In 2014 Sooni Taraporevala was awarded a Padma Shri. She lives in Mumbai.