Predictable, but gentle

ALLIANCE FRANCAISE has brought to Bangalore a collection of pictures of Indian cities by French photographer, Marie Accomiato.

The exhibition has the mandatory shots of Benares, where Ganges forms an interesting backdrop. One particular picture, where a group of boats are seen silhouetted against the shimmering waters, is arresting. Another shot, of children swimming and diving, is equally engrossing. Marie also forcefully captures the qawali singers at Ajmer, dancing hijras at Amber fort, and young Odissi dancers at Raghurajpur (Orissa).

There are shots capturing the mood of mist-filled pathways in a rain-drenched Darjeeling and the soft feel of women on swings in Bombay. The striking gaze of a young girl in close up (Little Rann of Kutch) is engaging.

Predictable, but gentle

Coming down South, the photographer seems attracted to temples and dances. Her engagement with Kalaripayattu and Kathakali dancers in Kerala produces some interesting results. Kerala is also the place where Marie captures the silhouetted Chinese fishing nets against the setting sun. The evening scene outside Brihadeswara temple at Tanjore is interesting, for it contrasts the relaxed mood of the devotees with a huge sculpted bull, lit by a single bulb. The hazy shot of a speeding cyclist creates drama outside the Meenakshi temple in Madurai. It's an altogether different mood on display as the photographer captures the devotees at the Tirumala temple.

Without being extraordinarily dramatic, Marie's 30-odd black-and-white photographs are neatly composed and professionally shot. They are candid and sensitive as seen in the picture of Rajasthani mother and child and another shot capturing a lonely silhouetted figure at a railway station.

But despite the gentle beauty and warmth, the photographs do not seem to add any new dimension, particularly to the Indian viewer who is familiar with the settings and moods.

(Carnets Indiens concludes on October 31.)


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