The Right to Look-II – Selected by Amit Kumar Jain

From the Saloni Doshi Collection

The Right to Look curated by Amit Kumar Jain, was an exhibition that featured for the first time, a large body of photographic works of artists including Pushpamala N, Nikhil Chopra, Jyoti Bhatt, Vivan Sundaram, and others from the Saloni Doshi Collection.

The Right To Look – I introduced us to figurative photographs that stood out as intimate images of our very own aspirations, desires, and vulnerabilities. We witnessed an enigmatic yet welcoming aura—from Pushpamala N’s provocative gaze to Nikhil Chopra’s spellbinding staging—that settled around us, meditating equally on our identities and anxieties. Being its literal as well as metaphorical successor, The Right to Look – II, having departed from the erstwhile figurative representation, proceeded to further identify an eclectic selection of abstract and landscape photographs that remarked on such themes. The images introspected upon the spaces we occupy (as well as leave behind); they are an artistic performance encroaching upon our carefully constructed lives, making us aware of a photographic lens that poignantly captures places of comfort and disarray. The photographs in The Right to Look – II made us aware of a disquiet where the natural world collides with sprawling concrete urban jungles, speculating on a future where we may disappear—what happens thus to places we leave behind?

The exhibition began in a nurturing environment with the likes of Ketaki Seth, Raghu Rai, and Dayanita Singh, introducing a romance of surrealism; an escape where the camera locates vivacious spaces revelling in celebration. Although jubilant, there is an inexplicable sensation of dread, an arcane foreboding that becomes glaringly obvious as we proceed ahead towards images by photographers like Priyank Gothwal and Vaibhav Raj Shah. Much-desired landscapes are suspended in limbo as friction gets memorialised in the works of Soham Gupta and Yamini Nayar—we find ourselves staggering into a realm of confusion, dragging our heavy feet against the surface of a wasteland where social and ecological collapse presents us with a landscape of utter loss. A rabbit-hole of unfamiliar surroundings was presented in the works of Avinash Veeraraghavan and Mustafa Khanbhai, a denatured desolation exhibited in Arun Kumar HG and Atul Bhalla’s photographs, among others. By the end however, the exhibition relented over such windswept melancholy: with works by Neha Choksi, Shivanjani Lal, Surekha, and Sunhil Sippy, we were ushered into a landscape of rejuvenation, an environment that reassured hope. Beyond being an artistic invocation of our surroundings, the photographs in The Right To Look-II potently define the very trajectory of our civilisation, acting as an augur–a warning–of where we may be heading. Now is the time to see.

Do you see where we are?

Audio-Visual Experience

The Audio-Visual Experience for collection The Right To Look – II will lead you through an immersive experience of the collections from anywhere in the world.

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