Shifting Focus : Photography Residency

Shifting Focus, the Photography Residency at KHOJ, aspired to evoke the timeless ‘magic’ of photography
Shifting Focus
KHOJ Studios, New Delhi
Friday, 1 October 2010 - Saturday, 30 October 2010
Georgina Maddox

Moving ahead from the age-old debates of whether photography can be termed as ‘art’ at all and the photographer, an ‘artist’, photography has found its rightful place into the dominant perception of today’s contemporary art scenario. In an era of fast paced ‘digital’ innovation with an ever increasing focus on technologically advanced equipment and high-end sophisticated gadgets, Shifting Focus aspired to to extend its space to re-instill the intuition in making photographs.

Envisioning its role as an experimental space to foster alternative ideas, artistic exchange and dialogue, the residency aims to assist and facilitate a deviant discourse on photography, from the ‘mainstream’ to that of the ‘alternative’.

In pursuit of alternative photographic processes, Shifting Focus sought to investigate the vast potential of image-forming possibilities while demonstrating varied and often, untried means of making images. It promoted freedom to shift focus from using conventional methods and their intended purposes to that of discovery and exploration through practice of imagination and skill and thereby pushing the boundaries of photography.

Mr. Rahaab Allana, Curator, Alkazi Foundation for the Arts, New Delhi, was the ‘mentor’ for the artists-in-residence.

During this residency, Goa-Centre for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP), visual artists P Madhavan and Edson Dias did ‘seek to use the pinhole camera as performance, installation, image making, and research to achieve conversation between object, space, movement, and time.’ Mansi Bhatt undertook an explorative journey into the unknown and faced the challenges therein. Equipped with her camera, she hoped ‘to confront the dark and the fear of the unknown, being able to break it apart, survive through and endure while being responsive to the surroundings and people around and with minimum manipulation’. Astro-photographer, Ajay Talwar aspired to undertake work that would essentially be a bridge between science and art.

Thus by bringing forth photographers and artists with diverse backgrounds and art practice as artists-in-residence during the month long duration, the residency attempted to create a bond of shared experiences through exciting exchange of ideas and technical skill, and endeavors to cultivate a broader, more inclusive perception of photography in the realm of art.

Shifting Focus strived to bring into focus that which escapes and eludes the ultimate ‘camera obscura’ – the human eye, as though opening a parallel universe to us; and restore the powerful and awe inspiring mystery of life!