On the occasion of World Photography Day, time travel to the Paris of 1970s with an evocative collection of around 50 black and white photographs captured by Professor Parmanand Dalwadi that are currently being exhibited at the Gem Cinema in Jaipur.
Professor Parmanand Dalwadi, born in a craftsman family in Gujarat, graduated in Fine Arts from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda and later went on to do his post-graduation in Visual Communication from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. In 1965, he accompanied Henri Cartier-Bresson, the world-renowned photojournalist of high repute on his journey to northern India. In return, Cartier-Bresson picked him and placed him in pictorial services in Paris to work with the legendary Pierre Gassmann with funding from the Ford Foundation. Tracing his journey to France in the 70s, the 82-year-old photographer, Prof. Parmanand Dalwadi has captured incongruous and unusual situations in a collection of around 50 photographs with his Nikon F, which are currently being showcased at ‘A Visit to France, 1970: An Exhibition by Parmanand Dalwadi in the iconic Gem Cinema.
A creative response to Dalwadi’s friendship with Bresson
The photographs on display at the exhibition combine humour, tenderness and observations of French society which are described with short stories for each photo. Showcasing a combination of portraits and landscapes, the exhibition is a creative response and poetic culmination of Professor Dalwadi’s friendship with legendary photographer, Henri Cartier-Bresson and a testimony to his unique style of photography. It is worth noting that Cartier-Bresson is known as the father of candid photography and street photography.
Speaking about the exhibition, Professor Dalwadi said: “When the National Institute of Design (NID), where I started, offered me the opportunity to meet and accompany, Henri Cartier-Bresson, my photographer’s eye approached this art in a way that was unimaginable before. Throughout his memorable visits to India, our interactions profoundly influenced my photography style. He taught me to look at my country with a new curiosity for clichés that I perceived as normal and did not see before. ‘A Visit to France, 1970’ documents life in Paris as I witnessed it during my life-changing trip to France, which was offered to me by Cartier-Bresson. In contact with a new culture, I desired to photograph everything that seemed weird or funny to me and to tell the story through images of France. I especially loved sharing the stories behind each photograph as well as the moments of wonderment that inspired my life as a photographer for the last 50 years.”
Interestingly, Professor Dalwadi also met his wife, Radium in France and she can be seen in a few of his captured stills.
‘Consent’ does not let you click a spontaneous picture
Commenting on the current trends in photography, Professor Dalwadi said that nowadays taking consent has become necessary before clicking someone’s photograph. This does not allow spontaneity in photography. “I have taken quite a few pictures of couples kissing in Paris. I was hardly three to four feet away from them but I could click a photograph without them noticing me. Such frames would not have been possible if I would have asked them for their consent”, shared Prof. Dalwadi.
The ace photographer also dismissed the pervasiveness of mobile photography and editing software in today’s times. “It is the brain, lens and subject of the photographer that makes a great picture!”, opined Dalwadi.
The exhibition is an initiative of the French Institute in India, Jaipur and is open to the public for viewing.
Date: August 17 to August 31
Venue: Gem Cinema
Time: 11 am to 9 pm
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