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Click! Contemporary Photography in India

Sunil Gupta (Author) Radhika Singh (Author)
Synopsis Click. As a "person of Indian origin" returnee this word completely fascinated me.  I hadn’t heard it in this way before and it was being so commonly used in Delhi, that I thought, hello, what have I missed in the intervening years during my rather lengthy absence.  People of all ages and all walks of life said it.  It appeared in the press and seemed to have reached a point beyond the vernacular. "I clicked a picture," my students at Bluebells would say to me.  No, you did not, I wanted to say, you made a picture.  This emphasis on photography’s craft on the one hand and a critical awareness of its history is what I had learnt.  It was no longer sufficient after the arrival of critical theory to simply have an eye and a finger on the button.  The thinking that crystallized that moment of pressing the shutter was what was significant.  The modus operandi was irrelevant.  This seems to separate the snap shooter from the photographer, the photographer from the artist.  Theory became an intrinsic part of photography as courses shifted from teaching a trade to teaching an art form.  Despite many protestations, a generation of people has not grown to accept this as normal.  The value and significance of the photograph changed.  Both in terms of semiotics and in terms of the market.
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About the authors

Sunil Gupta

Dr. Sunil Gupta (b. 1961-) is Assistant Keeper at the Allahabad Museum, an autonomous institution of the ministry of Culture, Government of India.  Dr. Gupta completed his PhD in Archaeology from the Deccan College, Pune in 1998.  He had been Nehru Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum (1997) and JSPS Post Doctoral Fellow at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto (1998-99).  Dr. Gupta is widely traveled, having done archaeological fieldwork in Japan, China and East Africa.  He was co-director of excavations of the Early Historic port-site of Kamrej (Gujarat) in 2003.   he has chaired sessions in international conferences and has been invited as PhD examiner by the universities of Uppsala (Sweden) and Bergen (Norway).  Dr. Gupta has papers in referred journals and in prestigious edited volumes published in Indian and abroad.  He is the co-editor of the Journal of Indian Ocean Archaeology.  His current focus is the archaeology of "trade and civilization" in the context of the early Indian Ocean world.

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Radhika Singh

 Changed course after a B.A. in English Literature, completed a Masters in Social Work from Delhi University, and earned an M.Phil, in Sociology from JNU in 1976.  During her 10 years of university, Radhika trained and worked as an actor with TAG, a theatre group formed by Barry John in 1973.  She acted, sang and danced in a number of plays including ‘Through Pablo’s Eyes’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, and ‘King Lear’.  During those years, modeling assignments with photographers like Madan Mahatta, Raghu Rai, Avinash Pasricha, Hardev Singh and Kitty Hazuria supported her theatre activity.  Radhika also walked the ramp in over 30 fashion shows during this time.  Though keen to continue studying for her doctorate she cut short her research in response to an urgent need to support herself and her 3-year-old daughter.  In 1987 Radhika founded Fotomedia, the first photo library in Delhi.  Building up an all India network of 200 photographers, and a 1000 strong client list, Fotomedia sold 2 crore worth of images, produced audio visuals, and handled over 20 photography exhibitions in 12 years.  The aim was to create a copyright protected platform for photographers and to promote photography as an art form in India. Between 1998-2000, Radhika initiated a series of photo displays at the Habitat Centre, Delhi.  Some of the participating photographers were Sondeep Shankar, Satish Sharma, Samar Jodha, Ram Rahman, Manoj Jain, Harish Tyagi, Ashim Ghosh, and Nitin Upadhye. In 1998 Fotomedia toured Dinesh Khanna’s solo show, ‘In My Own World’, selling prints very successfully in Calcutta, Bangalore and Delhi.  Radhika collaborated with Sunil Gupta on ‘Economy of Signs’ and ‘Divine Facades’ for the Arts Council, UK.  Some recent exhibitions include ‘Incredible India’, Delhi 2002; ‘Try to See it my Way’ The Sonagachi Pictures, Delhi 2004, Born, 2006 and Salzburg, 2007; Sunil Gupta’s autobiographical ‘Pictures From Here’, Delhi, 2004; ‘Avaahan’, the Bill Gates Foundation in India, Delhi 2006; and ‘Relative Values’, Southampton, 2007. Radhika presented her father’s archival photo collection in an exhibition, ‘Through Dad’s Eyes: Lahore 1946-Delhi 1966’ , at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitate Centre, in January 2008.  A series of café shows with Dinesh Khanna’s pictures was curated for the World Economic Forum, Davos 2008.

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Bibliographic information

Title Click! Contemporary Photography in India
Format Hardcover
Date published: 30.05.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9788187737810
length v+217p., Plates; 30cm.