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THE SOUTHERN ROUTE
From the series "Blood of Calcutta"
If you're not fed up with jet lag, I would like to stroll with you on Surya Sen street, in Calcutta. This series was hard to come. In fact, during the first three weeks, I didn't know how to approach Calcutta. I've walked, vexed a little bit, trying to see what I was able to do here. Not what a photographer could do, only what I could produce. In other words, I know the photographer I wished to be and he's not the photographer I am actually. Cartier-Bresson was, is, for me the epitome of the man with a camera, to paraphrase Vertov. His way to freeze in a single photo a detail with an inspiration touching the whole blows me away. I would aspire to magnify, like him, the trivial story and create a breath for the history. But I'm not this kind of photographer. I've tried, simply I'm not. Let's move on I told myself. So what to do here in Calcutta? One morning, sick of the crushing urban noise, I've done something not recommendable: I put earplugs while I was walking amid the traffic and the everyday rush.
This simple gesture changed my perception. I felt a bit disconnected. I floated in this crazy world; I heard my calm breath. It was like hearing my heartbeats, tidy and harmonious, while swaying my hips amid a crowd on battlefield. Fight for life, everywhere, but, deaf on the instant I experienced an exhilarating inner peace. Suddenly the subject of this series rose. I didn't have to go inside the event of the daily life of Calcutta. I had just to stay outside the mess and harmonies of these existences. Not to participate. Just like a blue helmet. It's maybe not respectful, but I'm trying to explain my artistic process and it's beyond proprieties. I started to watch this world as made of room boxes, these 3d miniatures of daily scenes.
I've waited on the pavement, looking on the other side, carrying my camera on a monopod and through the viewfinder watching a scene to start and end in my visual field. In order to capture the essence of the scene. I've worked this series as if humanity was a landscape. Taking the whole in order to arrive to the details. The opposite of my photographic references. I am who I am.