Rajiv Chowk metro station becomes a platform to exhibit rare photos

In an effort to introduce art to the public at large, the Delhi Metro in association with the Embassy of France mounted an exhibition of rare photographs by renowned photographer Pablo Bartholomew at the Rajiv Chowk metro station on Tuesday.

The life-size photographs tracing the evolution of Indian cinema have been put together in the exhibition titled “Film Industry: Then and Now”, which will be on display till March 20. It is a part of the ‘Fête de la photo’ (photography festival) initiative of the Embassy of France as part of which similar exhibitions are taking place at various locations, including Janpath subway near the Rajiv Chowk station. The exhibition will be held across eight major cities.

The festival was unveiled by DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh and the Ambassador of France to India François Richier at the paid concourse area of the Rajiv Chowk station.

There are 16 mammoth photographs of film personalities of “old and not-so-old”, as Mr. Bartholomew puts it, mounted at eight blocks of Rajiv Chowk – two comparative photographs in each block. For instance, Amitabh Bachchan in film Shahenshah is fixing up a villain with his iron arm and in contrast there is a still from an old film Sikandar.

In another picture, actor Tabu's face is veiled by a laced drape, and in contrast an unknown heroine of the silent era is veiled in another image.

A large number of commuters gathered at the paid concourse area where two mammoth images showing the family tree of Raj Kapoor with Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor and Rajeev Kapoor is placed next to a picture of the shooting scene of an old, mythological film. While these photographs, being erected from the ground wall, are attracting the crowd, others are not detectable unless pointed out.

“I would have wanted to mount more photographs for better effect had Metro allowed it. I had suggested at least 40 photographs but it’s just the beginning. I hope it is encouraged in the future,” reacted Mr. Bartholomew.

“We had initially planned to mount more pictures as Rajiv Chowk gets seven lakh commuters every day. But there could be security and convenience issues laced with it. It is the DMRC’s first baby step towards promoting art at public spaces.”

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