The city of dreams, despite its many nightmares, still has an inherently holy spirit. And this intriguing mix of the spiritual and materialistic comes to the fore at Try-POD ’09, the week-long photography exhibition at Kitab Mahal, organised by media students of KC College, Wilson College and St. Xavier’s College.
The theme is: Mumbai, the sacred and the profane. The briefing for all participants was: move away and beyond the obvious.
And the result: never-seen-before images from the streets of the city.
Cintara Fernandes’ pictures of elderly citizens have a certain innocence that one associates only with the very young.. and the very old. They are aching images of vulnerability and purity.
Rochelle Jobard’s black-and-white snapshots of quaint shanties and locked doors have the same quiet serenity. The second year student admits that for her, silence is almost pious.
The piety takes you by surprise when it translates into bright red PCO booths, BEST buses and city cops in other images.
The profane illustrations vary from a flock of crows to high rises standing sinister tall. Splintered relationships are captured in colourful, blurred images.
Another unwelcome aspect of Mumbai finds a face in an installation titled ‘Hypocrisy’. It shows two-faced people looming large on the gallery walls.
A series of dark images hung on a mannequin accentuate the fakeness that characterises the behaviour of most of our idols. “We do look up to celebrities with their oh-so-artificial plastic smiles?” asks Tracy D’Souza, a Xavieriite showing off her work.
Rashmi Singh’s installation catches the eye as it captures effectively that claustrophobia that at times threats to snuff out life. “You like it.. wonderful!” she beams.
Professor David Desouza is beaming too as the creative genius and distinct individuality of his students bring in a flood of compliments.