Grant Period: Over one year
Manas Bhattacharya is a self-taught photographer although he took formal training in video & cinematography from Chitrabani Society, Kolkata. He is also a post-graduate student of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
Arjun Dutta, Kolkata, West Bengal
Arjun Dutta has studied printing technology from Regional Institute of Printing Technology, Kolkata. Primarily a graphic designer, he is also interested in photography and print-making.
Debashis Sarkar, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Debashis Sarkar is a self-taught painter whose interests include installations and art direction.
Manas Bhattacharya, Debashis Sarkar and Arjun Dutta, have been engaged in developing a body of new work in digital imaging. Though they practice photography, painting and graphic design respectively, their project emerges from the need to rethink these categorisations. One of the properties of digital imaging, according to them, is that it allows people from different artistic disciplines like painting, photography or graphic design to work on their own terms, to apply their own rhetoric, leading to a convergence of the various media. Since this has not been possible before, the categories of graphic art, painting and photography become problematic.
They also see the digital image as inaugurating ‘a more democratic ecology of images’ grounded in everyday, reproducible, mass consumption. Not only does the digital image democratise consumption patterns, but quite categorically takes apart the notion of the singular author. They emphasise that they would try and locate the impact of the convergence of new imaging media and gauge the depth of its influence on current visual culture by creating images in a manner where image-making itself acquires a ‘hermeneutic dimension’.
The three envisage a website, a gallery exhibition, a short animated sequence of images and a visual poem as the proposed outcomes of this project. They feel that this body of work can be used to nudge new readings. In fact, through the very act of conceiving an exhibition in a gallery space, they wish to take on the challenge of constituting new ways of viewing images within conventional contexts.