Art fairs and biennales

New Delhi, Oct 13 (IANSlife): Celebrating more than twenty years of impassioned art collecting, The Right To Look introduces to the public for the first time the photographic collection of the Mumbai-based art patron, Saloni Doshi.

Borrowing from the notable visual theorist Nicholas Mirzoeff, the exhibition mediates on profound currents that define Saloni's carefully considered collection - a collection rooted in history and informed by the present that is audacious in challenging our right to look. Images that touch upon the experiences of humanity, pricking us with questions like, 'Who gets to look at the camera?', 'What does the viewer see?', and perhaps most importantly, 'What do the photographs show, and what do they hide?', is a testament to her keen eye, a lifelong enthusiasm for engaging with photography, and the narration of the story of India through her collection.

Saloni’s literal and metaphorical journey into the world of art fairs and biennales since she was twenty-three years of age became consequential in building a foundational collection of artworks that we have with us today. 'It wasn't always easy - in fact, it could get painfully long and lonely at times, but I have always loved photography. It is what I understood the best, and, studying under Jeroo Mulla at Sophia College, it has always been close to my heart. Being formally trained allowed me to appreciate the frame and composition of a photograph,' says Saloni. 'It is also a question about identity. As a patron and founder of a residency, being a "collector" was never a category of profession, but something that I wanted to love and be instinctively. It became a journey to see what others saw, what they loved, and ever since then I have always wanted to engage with that.'

This exhibition, with its conceptual stress on the figurative presence in photography, highlights particularly poignant photographic works, including Pushpamala N’s The Arrival Of Vasco Da Gama (2014), Umrao Singh Sher-Gil’s Amrita with models for young girls (1932), Nikhil Chopra’s Yog Raj Chitrakar series (2008), Jyoti Bhatt’s Mandana (2007), Sohrab Hura’s Life is Elsewhere F (2005), Gauri Gill’s Boy Bathing in Taalab (2012), among others.

On view shall be works by several of India’s most recognised photographers: Akshay Mahajan, Anay Mann, Gauri Gill, Jyoti Bhatt, Madhu Das, Madiha Aijaz, Mansi Bhatt, Max Pinckers & Quinten De Bryun, Nikhil Chopra, Priyank Gothwal, Pushpamala N, Remen Chopra, Shilpa Gupta, Shivanjani Lal, Shreyas Karle, Sohrab Hura, Surekha, Tejal Shah, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, Vivan Sundaram, and Vivek Vilasini.

The collection, which focuses on well-known and emerging names in the Indian contemporary space, speaks of Saloni’s long-term commitment to supporting the arts as well as introducing, assisting, and advising other young and future collectors.

The Right To Look, curated by Amit Kumar Jain shall be on view at Space118 from November 16 till December 30, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., including Sundays.

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