‘Une ville un lieu une personnes’ (One city, one place, one person), the ongoing exhibition at Alliance Francaise de Trivandrum is an unusual art blend.
The portraits, lined on the walls in sets of three, had beneath each a verse in English, along with its French translation. The pattern captured the essence of what the photographer-poet duo sought to do — to tell a story of a place through its people. The exhibition was inaugurated by film-maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan here recently and will conclude on August 4.
The exhibition showcases the city of Puducherry through the portraits captured by French photographer Pascal Bernard whose frames combine ‘place and person’ in a unique way.
The 28 sets of shots, in sepia tones, tell a little story about a person in the place, complemented by a verse by writer Anupama Raju.
The joint project was commissioned by the Alliance Francaise de Pondicherry and Le Centre Intermondes based in La Rochelle, France, where the exhibition premiered in May. Having ‘a bit of France and bit of Tamil Nadu,’ Puducherry as a location itself proved a fascinating subject for the two artists, Ms. Raju says.
Mr. Gopalakrishnan was appreciative of the confluence of the two art forms — poetry and photography. It does not come as a surprise that the poet was motivated to write owing to the telling and emotive nature of the shots, he says.
It is ‘rediscovering India through foreign eyes,’ he adds. Writer, Paul Zacharia lauded Ms. Raju for her bold work, a deviation from traditional forms. Tradition should be like manure from where the new and fresh can emerge, he says.