Lensman's tryst with urban landscapes

THE CITY is a veritable storehouse of colours where masses of concrete, solid surfaces of bitumen and sheets of mineral and vegetable matter are juxtaposed against one another. Seen through the photographer's eye, years of growth and sharing the same living space bring to light and life the mercurial face of the urban landscape.

As part of an ongoing project of documenting urban cities in India and in France, a French photographer David Giancatarina -- who had earlier conducted studies at the "Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille'' in the department of image and sound -- will hold an exhibition in the Capital from June 4 revealing his tryst with urban spaces in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Varanasi in India and Avignon and Marseille in France. In the artist's own thoughts, Kolkata emerges as a metropolis that has a spirit of its own as its crumbling walls continue to breathe and its face bears the imprint of time. After the rains, the concrete walls sometimes look as bright as the pages of a child's colouring book.

As for Varanasi, the constant nearness of death seems to have affected the pace of life here. The calm is almost suspect -- a small piece of coloured plastic that has strayed into the landscape seems to weigh as a ton though the atmosphere has been emptied of air and the force of gravity had increased tremendously.

Referring to New Delhi, David -- who has to his credit many exhibitions in France and abroad -- says : "It is a place where I finally appreciated the sublime quality of concrete, standing out majestically as the sole image of this city and the ultimate symbol of this journey''.

Brought to the Capital by the Embassy of France in India in partnership with the Alliance Francaise and the Visual Arts Gallery of the India Habitat Centre, the exhibition will be jointly inaugurated by Member of Parliament, Karan Singh, and Bernard de Montferrand, Ambassador of France in New Delhi.

By Lalit K. Jha

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