Pondicherry by Sebastian Cortés, May 2012
The Embassy of France in India, the Institut français en Inde and Roli Books were pleased to present “Pondicherry” by Sebastian Cortés.
The photographs of the book Pondicherry were on view at
72, Lodi Estate, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110003
till 20 May
every day from 11.00 am to 7.00pm.
Pondicherry is an extended photo essay focusing on the photographer’s perception and visual interpretation of the city of Pondicherry. The photographer journeys into the metaphorical and anthropological folds of the city searching for a sense of “place”- his interpretation of a specific environment and how it is inhabited. The photographer goes beyond the walls and penetrates into the private sphere, into homes, spaces and routines, which exemplify a certain culture or cultures, always searching for visual messages that compose the tapestry of perception, both of the past and the present. The perception of “place” is also conveyed in words. The photographer has sought out the participation of several noted French and Indian writers, who have, through the magic of words, offered very personal and insightful views of Pondicherry - words and images working in a complementary way for an artistic perception of Pondicherry.
Sebastian Cortés, born in New York, took up photography in 1980 while at the New York University film school, where he studied and collaborated with many of the best names in the industry. In 1985, he moved to Milan and pursued fashion and lifestyle photography assignments for many international magazines, as well as for commercial clients, while also concentrating on portraits and personal work. In 2004, Cortés moved with his family to India. His award-winning photography is greatly appreciated and has enriched several book projects. Currently, he divides his time and energy between commercial, editorial, and artistic projects, both in India and Europe.
The book includes essays by :
Pascal Bruckner began writing in the vein of the so-called ‘nouveaux philosophes’ and is considered to be one of their best known French proponents. He published Parias (Pariahs), Lunes de Fiel (adapted for the screen by Roman Polanski) and Les voleurs de beauté (The beauty stealers, which won the Prix Renaudot in 1997). An essayist for the Nouvel Observateur and Le Monde, Pascal Bruckner has always had a deep love and understanding of India.
Akash Kapur is a long-time resident of Pondicherry. He has written for The Economist, Granta, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and pens the ‘Letter from India’ column for The International Herald Tribune. His first book, a work of narrative non-fiction on social transition in modern India, will be published by Penguin-Riverhead (USA) in 2012.
Amin Jaffer is International Director of Asian Art at Christie’s. For twelve years a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, he is the author of the pathbreaking volumes, Furniture from British India and Ceylon (2001) and Made for Maharajas : A design diary of Princely India (2006) and the co-editor of Encounters : The meeting of Asia and Europe : 1500-1800 (2004), which accompanied a blockbuster Victoria and Albert exhibition he had co-curated. He generated and was external curator for the exhibition Maharaja : the Splendour of India’s Royal Courts and co-edited the accompanying volume (2009).