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FOCUS Festival Mumbai, 2015

FOCUS Festival Mumbai, 2015


Chuck Close » Shahid Datawala » ZHANG Huan » Bhupendra Karia » Laura Letinsky » Ralph Eugene Meatyard » Shirin Neshat » Rashid Rana » Arpita Shah » Vivek Vilasini » & others

Exhibition: 12 Mar – 26 Mar 2015

Focus Photography Festival

400 001 Mumbai

FOCUS Festival Mumbai, 2015
Bhupendra Karia (1936-1994)

FOCUS Photography Festival
Returns to Mumbai
Mumbai’s first, free, public photography festival is in full swing, offering 30 exhibitions, workshops and educational events until 26 March

THEME: Crossover
30+ Exhibitions | Outdoor Shows | Workshops | Book Launches | Talks | Tours | Open Library | Mentor Sessions

until 26 March 2015

CONTACT: For interviews and a wider selection of press images, contact:
Diana Jackson | focuspress@asiaartprojects.com | +91 99 87 79 1744

FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai 2015 (FOCUS), supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies and in collaboration with education partner, the Mohile Parikh Center, has returned to Mumbai and is on view until 26 March. First launched in 2013 as the city’s first ever photography festival, FOCUS has built on the success of its inaugural event, and this year presents an even more innovative and extensive programme with over 30 exhibitions, workshops and educational events taking place across the city.
FOCUS is a celebration of the democratic nature of photography. Its core aim is to engage not just those in the photographic sector but to make the art form accessible to everyone across the city, with every festival event free and open to all. In addition to exhibitions in Mumbai’s leading galleries and museums, the festival is bringing photography outside of traditional spaces and into an eclectic range of venues. Exhibitions are taking place in stores and cafes and literally on the streets of the city, to reach out, excite and engage new audiences of every age and to build a community of interest around photography.
This year’s festival theme is ‘CROSSOVER’, examines how the world is seen and captured from multiple viewpoints. Mumbai, known for its dynamism and diversity, is fuelled by the intermingling of people from different states, faiths and social structures. The theme celebrates photography’s role in challenging the way we see and understand both our city and the world, not only questioning collective notions of geography and history but also telling the intimate stories of the construction of identity and the exploration of self in today’s age.
Bloomberg Philanthropies was the founding sponsor of FOCUS in 2013 and with its second year of support, expands its commitment to supporting innovation, access and new technologies in the arts.

Festival Highlights include:
● Yaathum Oore, Yaavarum Kelir: The Whole World is My World, Humanity is My Fraternity
A major ‘Call For Entries’ exhibition, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Byculla (E): This exhibition is the result of a worldwide call by FOCUS for photographers to submit work on the festival’s theme. Photographers were invited to explore, investigate and visualise in particular the ‘cultural crossover’ that has given rise to new forms of hybridisation and homogenisation of culture. Works of twenty selected photographers from around the world will be on display. The exhibition is curated by Pa. Madhavan, advisor to the CSMVS Museum Mumbai, Founder of the Wanted Series and Executive Director of the Goa Centre for Alternative Photography. An extensive education programme is taking place around the exhibition featuring workshops, talks and panel discussions. Venue Partner: Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum.

Photographers exhibited include:

Asef Ali Mohammad United Kingdom | Werner Anselm Buhre Austria
Denis Bernier France | Ajit Bhadoriya India | Laura Böök Finland
Geloy Concepion Philippines | Sandeep Dhopate India | Andrea Eichenberger Brazil
Shilpa Gavane India | Fiona Hackett Ireland | Irving Villegas Mexico
Ahmed Kamal Saifi India | Marinos Tsagkarakis Greece | Marylise Vigneau France
Arpan Mukherjee India | Aun Raza Pakistan | Sameer Raichur India
Arpita Shah India | Prabhjot Singh Lotey India | Tsutomu Yamagata Japan

● Neither Natural nor Necessary, selections from III Form and Void Full
A solo exhibition by Laura Letinsky, The Muse, Kala Ghoda: Canadian fine-art photographer and professor at the University of Chicago, Laura Letinsky, is presenting a section of works from Ill Form and Void Full. The works depict crumbling, half eaten cakes and tablecloths stained after a raucous meal. Dirty spoons, empty cantaloupe rinds, half-eaten lollipops and clumsily cut slices of bread are her trade. Her works explore “the problem of the illusion of perfection” (New York Times, October 2012).

● Fairer People = Beautiful People = Powerful People
A solo exhibition by Arpan Mukherjee, The Art Entrance Gallery, Kala Ghoda:
Using the wet plate collodion process, a photographic method that dates back to the anthropological documentation of colonial Indian in the 19th century, the artist invited a group of young adults whose skin is dark in colour to explore the relationship between fairness of skin, and preferential treatment in their family and broader society. Arpan Mukherjee is an associate professor at Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan. The artist has been conducting alternative photography and darkroom workshops, in collaboration with the last active darkroom in Mumbai, with young photographers throughout the two-week festival. Venue Partner: Kala Ghoda Association.

● Photobook Exhibition and Photobook Library, presented in collaboration with BIND The Muse, Kala Ghoda: FOCUS is presenting a special photobook selection, curated by BIND. BIND is a new collective of contemporary photographic practitioners based in India that focus on the photobook as an art object and specific form of expression.

● BlowUp Bombay, presented by Blindboys.org, Chuim Village and Carter Road, Khar/Bandra: This outdoor photographic intervention brings exhibits and photographic projections onto the streets of Mumbai, exploring the intersection between the street and photography. BlindBoys.org has invited amateurs and professional photographers to come and paste their works up on the walls of the city! The prints are accompanied by a series of slideshow events hosted on the seafront.

FOCUS Festival Mumbai, 2015
© Laura Letinsky, from Ill Form and Void Full

The festival’s hub throughout the two-week period is The Hive Cultural Centre, Chuim Village, Khar (W). The Hive is host to SETS, an installation and performance which examines the process of image making, by Canadian artist Aman Sandhu and Swapnaa Tamhane. Visitors can also find information about the events taking place throughout the festival at The Hive, which is as a resource centre for festival goers to meet, interact and access a range of photography books on display at our Open Library hosted by Photo Konnect and the British Council’s mylibrary.

The following partner exhibitions are also be taking place:
ARTISANS’ Gallery, Photographs of Rural India, Jyoti Bhatt
Bandit Queen, Making Space Sushant Chhabria
Bombay Electric, Nine Times Nine, Mirjam Spoolder presented by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
Café Zoe, Transience Sunhil Sippy
Chatterjee & Lal Gallery, Reality, Rana Dasgupta
Clark House Initiative, Found Photos in Detroit, Arianna Arcara and Luca Santese
Curator’s Gallery at CSMVS, Portraits of a Collector, Jehangir Nicholson presented by Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation
Ecole Intuit. Lab*, Creative Intelligence, Students from the school
Filter, Prashant Godbole, Prashant Godbole
Gallery Maskara, The Smile on the Mask, Abraham George
Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Über Grenzen / On Borders, Various photographers from Ostkreuz Photo Agency presented by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai
Gallery 7, I once was alive, Shahid Datawala
Good Earth, Human Power, Paolo Regis
High Street Phoenix, Ungender, Bikramjit Bose, presented by ELLE
St. Jude Bakery, Generation Edge, Various photographers, presented by The Sound in collaboration/partnership with Impresario Group
Kala Ghoda Café, Bus Stops, Julian Cox
Mumbai Art Room, on love and other landscapes, yazan khalili
Percept Art, Vagabond Souls, Stephanie Cornfield
Rampart Gallery*, Composing My Family Portrait: Crossovers in Space, Time and Cultures, Presented by Muktangan School, in partnership with Kala Ghoda Association
red blue & yellow, Vivek Vilasini, Vivek Vilasini, presented by Sakshi Gallery
Sakshi Gallery, A Couple of Ways of Doing Something, Chuck Close, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Rashid Rana, Shirin Neshat and Zhang Hu
sepiaEYE @ Lakereen Gallery, Transitions and Trajectories: The Photographs of Bhupendra Karia, Bhupendra Karia

Studio X*, The Cloud, Dharavi workshop photographers, presented with The Art Room
The Muse, The Photographer and The Artist. Various photographers and artists from India, Presented by Gurus Gallery - Christophe Prébois, France
The Yoga House, Classic Images of BKS Iyengar, from Pat’s collection, Various photographers
The White Owl, The North-East Shoot, Fabien Charuau and Nikhil D
Vintage Garden, Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty, Max Pinckers, presented by Wieden+Kennedy and Motherland, and curated by Bharat Sikka

Alliance Française de Bombay, and Godrej India Culture Lab have been hosting photography related events throughout the festival.
For a full list of exhibitions and the event programme please visit the festival website: focusfestivalmumbai.com and facebook.com/focusmumbai
Follow all the latest festival news and activity on Twitter at twitter.com/focusfestival and Instagram at focusfestivalmumbai. #focusmumbai #focusatthehive

● FOCUS Photography Festival Mumbai – FOCUS, the city’s first photography festival was launched in March 2013 when the event attracted 30,000 visitors. The event laid the foundation for the development of a curious and eager new audience in Mumbai, whilst fostering new ways of experiencing photography. Through the festival, FOCUS seeks to be a leading platform for photographers, galleries, art spaces and photography education in India. FOCUS is co-founded and organised by Nicola Antaki, Design Director, Elise Foster Vander Elst, Festival Director and Matthieu Foss, Festival Director.

● Bloomberg Philanthropies – Bloomberg Philanthrophies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organisation focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Through a wide range of dynamic partnerships with visual, performing and literary arts organisations, Bloomberg Philanthropies is committed to artistic excellence while also ensuring that as wide an audience as possible can engage in exciting cultural opportunities around the world. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation, corporate and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information on the philanthropy, please visit Bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

● Mohile Parikh Centre (MPC) – MPC is the Education Partner of FOCUS Photography Festival. The Mohile Parikh Centre, founded in 1990, is an internationally renowned institution and one of the leading centres in India devoted to art and culture. It offers a variety of programmes ranging from international conferences, lectures, and public art initiatives to more intimate workshops and study groups. Emphasising on pluralism and fostering cross-cultural exchange, the MPC facilities dialogues that connect art, education and society.

FOCUS Festival Mumbai, 2015
© Arpan Mukherjee