How many times have you looked at a photograph and wondered what went into making that perfect shot? Of course, we almost always credit the subject and the photographer. But the key role a camera plays in capturing a moment and with it the different and complicated visual layers of a photograph can’t be ignored. Genesis, a sculptural installation by artists S Thiru and Vikrant Sharma, deconstructs the camera in an attempt to understand what makes a flawless picture. “Genesis is a part of our series called The Deconstruction Project, which explores the various ways of deciphering and presenting photographs as engaging and immersive installations,” says Sharma, adding, “Genesis is an attempt to understand what makes an image, like searching within the camera, looking at all the components that make it, searching for its soul and then putting it all back together in a composition, which is true to the path that light takes through it.”
Genesis, which is on display at the India Habitat Centre in Delhi, and more such installations and artworks form a part of Publica, a public arts festival, initiated by the Floodlight Foundation, a non-profit organisation that helps artists market their works. “Publica has helped people engage with art in their comfort zone,” says Surbhi Modi, founding director, Floodlight Foundation. “It aims to bring art outside its traditional context of museums and galleries to high-traffic areas so that more people can enjoy it in a less intimidating manner,” she says.
Art is still a niche concept in India confined to museums and galleries, so what makes public arts initiatives like Publica tick for the artists? “The very idea of taking the art to the people appealed to us from the very start. Art, as we know it, has usually been confined to galleries and events that usually cater to small gatherings of art lovers, etc. Here, we could reach out to everyone,” says Vikrant Sharma, adding, “We expect the intrigue and the inquisitiveness toward art among people to grow regardless of where they come from. We expect this experience to last with them much