Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Picture of the Day: Chennai

February 11, 2010


Substitute Reality

February 11, 2010

I got this picture in Bangkok at the Golden Buddha Temple. Its an image of a model of the temple and its environs. After the opulence and intricacies of the royal palaces, the ’emerald Buddha’ temple and other sights in Bangkok, this came as welcome relief.

There are a number of artists practicing what I call ‘substitute realism’ where they make and then photograph models. I like Thomas Demand, Lori Nix and Bill Armstrong.

Picture of the Day

January 30, 2010

At the temple of the reclining Buddha, Bangkok

Abstract is Evil

January 3, 2010

I’ve been wondering about abstraction.

In general, I love abstract ideas and art. But I also prefer non-fiction to fiction. I prefer travel to movies and video games.

Its interesting to look at the ‘definition’ of abstraction on Wikipedia. And in a dictionary.

I find the simplicity of abstraction powerful and impactful. And therein lies abstraction’s potential for evil, I suppose. By abstracting war, news and video games make it feel like any other sporting event, only with the score being kept with the number of dead. By abstracting complex policies and issues into sound bites, the mainstream media does everyone a disservice by (over)simplifying the debate.

I enjoy the experience of abstraction. Both as creator and observer. When I started photographing seriously, I was very much into abstraction (here’s a sample). Recently though its been a lot more anchored in reality. Why the shift? A lot of this has to do with the surfeit of abstraction in every day life … in the news especially.

I suppose one can think of the last decade as the ‘abstract decade’.

Some of it has to do with the move to India and all of the recent travel

I hope that the next one is a lot more reality-based and that we take the time to think about the complex issues that are with us and around us.

Here’s wishing everyone a really real and wonderful new decade!

P.S. I am halfway through Gurcharan Das’ book ‘The Difficulty of Being Good‘ and it has an interesting take on abstraction and realism.