Pinhole photography from around the world on display at Gallery One Two
Arabian mathematician, astronomer and physician Ibn al-Haytham has only gained international acclaim over the last few years for his invention of the pinhole camera in the 11th Century, a fact that former executive director of Goa Center for Alternative Photography, Madhavan Pillai rues over. Spurred by the need to create a discourse around alternative perceptions of reality and photography, the 41-year-old, who recently moved to The Nilgiris, curated a photography exhibition dedicated to the pinhole camera. “A little-known fact is that April 29 is celebrated as World Pinhole Photography Day. The exhibition, which was opened in concurrence to the day, was also in honour of Ibn al-Haytham. The name of this exhibition is derived from his most influential and critical work, titled Book of Optics, translated from Arabic Kitab al-Manzir,” explains Madhavan.
The second exhibition to be held at Gallery One Two, the month-long showcase is themed on, Reflections of a City, and has 52 pictures on display from 26 artistes belonging to 17 different countries—including Daniel Tubio from Argentina, Nathalie Hannecart from Belgium and Arek Golosz from London, among others. “Photographs of a city from someone who lives there often gives you a different perspective from what an outsider would see. Most pictures are very introspective and abstract, while other times they are self-portraits,” he says.
Having called for entries over four months ago, the final images on display were picked from over 120 photographs. “Since pinhole cameras work on long exposure, most pictures have multiple exposures, low colour saturation and can become very abstract,” he shares. Keeping in mind concerns about the audience’s understanding of what pinhole photography offers, Madhavan recently conducted a guest lecture on the nature of the photography technique and how pinhole photography was a part of the expressionist movement of the 1960s.
Book of Optics, Chapter One on until May 27.