Art pushes us to reflect on when to be an observer and when to be an actor, or even an activist. In a chat during his exhibition at Gallery Manora, Giridhar Khasnis shares perspectives on his journey as a photographer and curator.Madanmohan Rao
PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 325 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, millets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
This month, Gallery Manora in Bengaluru is featuring an exhibition titled Of Silence, Solitude, and Slow Time, with photographs of artist and writer Giridhar Khasnis. Giridhar is also the curator of the exhibition. “It is hard to be the maker, curator and viewer,” he joked, in a chat with YourStory.
He has been a photographer for over 40 years, starting off in his teens; his early works were also published by The Deccan Herald newspaper. The 40 photographs in the exhibition are drawn from a collection of over 400 works, and are divided into five sections: Scent of the Forest; Liberation; Beyond Earth and Shadow; Inside the room, a moment's brink; and Time and Being.
Giridhar has curated over 10 art shows; the photographs in this exhibition are priced at Rs 15,000. The calmness of the pictures is intended to be an antidote to the cacophony of our world, he explains. Some of the photographs use techniques of combination as well.
The pictures reflect a visual and poetic journey, drawing inspiration from the poems of Keats and Neruda. They are largely shot in black and white, from locations as varied as Goa, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kudremukh, Ladakh, Kochi, Hosur, and Pondicherry.
“I don’t like to be asked which camera I use,” he jokes. “Did people ask Picasso which brush he used, or Shakespeare which quill he used,” he says. Many of his photographs are taken on smartphones and ordinary cameras.
“What matters is how you approach the moment, or how you listen to the moment. It matters much patience you have, how much of an eye for detail you have,” Giridhar explains. He points to a statue of a man holding a book, but the finger seems to be broken or missing; other photographs have birds flying in during opportune moments.
“There is art and beauty everywhere. It is okay to go to Ladakh hoping to photograph a snow leopard, but there is beauty also in the ant or squirrel,” Giridhar explains. Even a teacup can seem like a work of art, depending on the lighting and movement of other nearby objects and people. Choice of foreground and background objects can create new moments, perspectives and even illusions, he adds.
Photography and art push you to reflect on what is reality and what is illusion, says Giridhar, who is an avid reader of Buddhist texts as well. “The most critical factor for a photographer is to be in the present,” he signs off.
Now, what have you done today to take a step back from your busy life and see it from a calmer and larger perspective?
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