Al Revelar

Curated by Julia Villaseñor

Participating Artists : B. Ajay Sharma, Fernando de la Torre, Natalia Ludmila

05 June - 03 July, 2015 | D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024

Installation Shots

This exhibition is presented in partnership with Embassy of Mexico in India.

Revelar in Spanish means to reveal, to show something hidden, it also means to develop a photograph by the chemical processes of analogue printing. This exhibition is the result of a workshop which focused on revealing what early photography was exploring in terms of it’s technique. A workshop created to re-think these processes and questions was put together by three artists (Natalia Ludmila, B Ajay Sharma and Fernando de la Torre, assisted by Nancy Verma) and a curator (Julia Villaseñor) for a period of a month and a half. The artists worked on developing photographs through the techniques of cyanotype, silver salts and gum bi-chromate, studying it’s chemical composition, times of exposure and other technicalities involved while revealing images.

The trio used Syah Ghar Photo Studio in Delhi where they formed a dynamic work group resembling a residency experience. Indian artist B Ajay Sharma’s practice ranges from oil painting, drawing and miniature to video, performance and analogue photography, Fernando de la Torre is a Mexican photographer and traveller living in Delhi who bases his practice in digital photography, Natalia Ludmila is a Mexican painter living in Delhi who works mainly with watercolour and paper but is exploring video, photography and sound as expressive media. The workshop was initiated by the curator who wanted the artists to explore the limits of their practice and to rethink the techniques of analogue image making. The collaboration has resulted in very different bodies of work that explore ideas of presence and absence, what is revealed and what is hidden during the process as well as a new way of looking at images, analysing their aesthetic qualities of composition, contrast and saturation, which are only apparent during analogue developing.

Al Revelar is more of an exercise than an exhibition; in this project the process is apparent. Living in the age of selfies and Instagram, image making has become one of the most common activities in our times, all sorts of cameras and gadgets that create and capture images constantly surround us and travel far and wide through social media. The de-materialization of the photograph is a characteristic of our aesthetic reality and we have nearly forgotten the origins of this technological marvel from the 19th century. In a digital world, we no longer see images as material objects, we are bombarded by moving and static images made of pixels that disappear as quickly as they appeared before us. Preoccupations of film, chemical development and other technical processes are no longer part of our conscious imaginary. This artistic exercise/gathering tries to reach back to the materiality of an image as an object.

B. Ajay Sharma (b.1986) obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in 2007 and then came to New Delhi to continue his fine arts studies graduating from Jamia Millia Islamia in 2009.His visual art tries to develop a language, which embodies the contradiction of dualities like life & death, being & nonbeing, revealing and concealing. He is currently practicing various mediums of photography, including alternative photography techniques. He is the founder of Shay-Ghar photo studio, an alternative photography studio in New Delhi, which he set up in 2014. He is part of a series of public performances by Peepal Tree Art Project (PTA) in 2015, curated by Satadru Sovan. His shows include, Thanatophobia in Wonderwall Gallery, New Delhi, 2014, Degenerate, curated by Blessy Augustine at Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi, 2013, Ye Hai India Darling curated by Pia Camilla Copper at XVA, Gallery DIFC and XVA Bastakiya, Dubai. His work has been exhibited at the India Art Fair 2015 with Neilson Art Gallery, Spain, and Wonderwall, New Delhi and in the 2013 Taipei Photo Art Fair, Taiwan. He has also participated in several residencies such as the Neilson Art Gallery residency in Spain in 2014 and ALTlab Photography Residency at Goa Center for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP), as an artist/photographer .
Natalia Ludmila (1980) was born in Mexico City and raised in Canada. She holds a BVA in which she specialised in painting by the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas (Mexico) and a Masters in Digital Design by the University of Canberra (Australia). Her work has been exhibited in several solo and group shows in Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Australia and Singapore among other countries. She was the Second Prize recipient in the XVIII Ibiza Biennale -Ibizagrafic'- with the project dfm e.p. curated by Nilo Casares (Spain). In 2012 she was awarded the International Residency grant by FONCA (National Fund for Culture & Arts. Mexico) and spent three months at INSTINC Artspace in Singapore. Ludmila has exhibited in and had work commissioned by the Diego Rivera Anahucalli Museum (Mexico City). In 2014 she took part in the -The Great Collaboration- project in Singapore along with ten other artists. In the same year Ludmila was also named in the 200 top expressions of Mexican Art initiative and catalogue and had work selected for the National Landscape Biennale (Mexico).Ludmila currently lives and works in New Delhi.
Fernando de la Torre (b.1978) was born in Mexico City where he obtained his diploma of international relations from the ITAM in 2002, during his studies he did an exchange program in the Economy University of Prague in 2000. He did his social service in the Embassy of Mexico in the Vatican City. He joined the Mexican Foreign Service in 2006 and he has lived in Las Vegas, Sao Paolo (where he was in charge of cultural affairs) and now in New Delhi. His photographic practice is based in the curiosity of the world that surrounds him and the new forms and lights that different places offer to the camera. Fernando de la Torre is a self-taught photographer who has travelled over 36 countries and he has contributed with work for Getty Images in many occasions. His inspiration and love of the medium started at an early age by the influence of his father and through his life he has been refining his artistic vision by focusing on light and composition. This is his first gallery exhibition.