Every time I asked Ms Saini to step into frame for a photograph or an interview clip she asked, “Should I wear my shoes?” Which is not to say that she was walking around Mathieu Foss’s gallery barefoot and fancy-free. She had footwear on, just not the footwear that went with the dress.
Vidisha Saini is very young, a fact magnified by her boundless enthusiasm during the opening night of her first solo exhibition entitled Pratibimb and Showtime – two photographic collections that feature respectively members of the bahrupiya community, and circus performers.
The story goes that Ms Saini met Mr. Foss at the last Indian Art Summit. He was aware of her work from having seen some of her photographs in a magazine but didn’t know her in person. When he returned to his own booth after wandering around the summit, he found her leafing through the catalogue of another photographer he represents. Long story short, Pratibimb and Showtime opened at the Matthieu Foss Gallery on April 6th, 2011, marking Ms Saini’s first solo photographic exhibition.
As I said earlier, Ms Saini is quite young and while that has no bearing on her work (it would be difficult to tell the photographer’s age from the pictures on display) it is obvious that her answers to interview questions haven’t settled into the boilerplate format that most seasoned quotesters seem to prefer. It was refreshing to have her candidly admit, on camera, that both picture series are not really about the subjects – they are actually about the artist herself.
For that and other revelations that give us a glimpse into the mind behind the eye that captured these pictures, click on the video below.