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Potato, 2003 © Anuschka Blommers en Niels Schumm
Shop #3, 2007 © Johannes Schwartz
Balancing Orange, Pink and Yellow, 2007 © Qiu Yang
Cutting Edge, 2010 © Uta Eisenreich
A, 2009 © Uta Eisenreich
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Showcase 22 Jan 2019

Still life with a contemporary twist / Reinterpreting ‘still life’ through the lens of photography

Drawing inspiration from the notable artistic theme practiced by the Dutch Masters of the 16th and 17th century, Still/Life by Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) and the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation (JNAF), in collaboration with Foam, takes a fresh look at still life as a genre today, while adding a contemporary touch by using photography as the medium.

Titled ‘Still/Life: Contemporary Dutch Photography’, the travelling exhibition is a group show by a bunch of avant-garde Dutch photographers who introduce us to a new interpretation of a classic Dutch art history genre – still life. The experimental photographs that include common and uncommon objects, urge the audience to engage with the images by cleverly manipulating the objects’ composition, thereby also manipulating, to some extent, the viewer’s response. Essentially, the photos displayed at the exhibition are not ‘taken’ as an imprint of reality; they are, in fact, ‘orchestrated’ – staged and composed to elicit the desired response. Welcome to ‘still life’ in the digital age!

Potato, 2003 © Anuschka Blommers en Niels Schumm
 
Shop #3, 2007 © Johannes Schwartz

From potatoes that are given the same treatment in photographs as perhaps one would a precious gem, playing with light and darkness much like still life painting of Dutch Masters from the Dutch Golden Age, to a bouquet of fruits and flowers that, on closer inspection, turns out to be an assemblage of cuttings from print media, the exhibition promises to question how we look at, and interpret, representations of objet d'arts. 

Balancing Orange, Pink and Yellow, 2007 © Qiu Yang
 
Cutting Edge, 2010 © Uta Eisenreich

With the underlying aspiration to rethink the so-called limitations of photography as a medium, and familiarize Indian audiences with global trends that are dynamically shaping the future of photography, the exhibition seeks to redefine our conventional understanding of still life. As a result, the audience is presented a modernized, updated rendering of the still life concept, in a contemporary visual language. One can expect to see photographs by Blommers & Schumm, Elspeth Diederix, Uta Eisenreich, Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky, Paul Kooiker, Yvonne Lacet, Krista van der Niet, Jaap Schreeren & Hans Gremmen, Scheltens & Abbenes, Johannes Schwartz, Ingmar Swalue, Anne de Vries and Qiu Yang showcased. 

A, 2009 © Uta Eisenreich

 

The exhibition is on view at the Jehangir Nicholson Gallery, CSMVS in Mumbai until February 10, 2019. It is supported by Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mumbai and organised in collaboration with The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya and the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation.

Read more about the exhibition here.

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