A trip to nowhere
Photojournalist Swapan Parekh savours the mystery of each image that appears spontaneously in the theatre of his lifeUpdated: Jul 02, 2011 00:12 IST
Photography happens to me a picture at a time. From one image to the other, I’m clueless where my next one will be shot. Sometimes I feel like a Picture Jukebox on shuffle mode. I love this mystery. I love dwelling on the pure visuality of an image without burdening oneself by trying to decipher meaning abstracted from what’s happening in the frame. My world is not about ‘a day in the life of’ or ‘behind the scenes’ nor is it driven by a need to package images with reams of text, as is the trend now. It’s just Me. And I.
My theme is the theatre of my life and ordinary encounters in its peripheries. The work when seen as a body is pieced together with a personal visual lexicon which I hope is recognised for its coherence. It’s less to do with what I see, but more about how it's been seen. What may be perceived by some as snapshots, are intuitive and measured photographic reflex’s of my world. The instantaneous recognition of facts and relationships if you may. It’s a celebration of the mundane and ordinary where I choose to make an audience privy to my choice of a way of seeing.
For decades my professional journey in photography has been defined as an amalgamation of the documentary aesthetic into advertising photography. Concurrently though, through the years, I have also been working on autonomous bodies of personal work. For the last five years I have been engaged in an ongoing series of pictures titled ‘Between Me & I’. They were first seen in 2008 as a solo show exhibited by one of the foremost museums of contemporary photography, the Fotographie Museum in Amsterdam (FOAM), besides a couple of galleries in India. It’s an ongoing body of work. In the near future, I intend to culminate the series by publishing a book on my own, keeping at bay the pressures and personal agendas of a gallerist or publisher.
Meanwhile, I’m in a hurry to Nowhere...
The writer is a Mumbai-based photojournalist