Within a meticulously pieced mosaic of visuals, Australian architecture photographer John Gollings has been capturing urban environment as it changes shape and structure with the turn of every decade. He captures it through a lens of longevity, a perspective that shows built heritage as a sustainable, active and actively engaged entity. At India Habitat Centre’s photo-festival called Habitat Photosphere, he brings some of these documentaries from many of his photographic sojourns, including to India.
He finds that in Indian, modern architecture is incredibly self-sustaining and its green buildings come with measurable benefits.
“They are energy saving, have proper ventilation to reduce the use of air conditioning; even cement manufacturers are going green,” says Gollings, who sites that this kind of approach is not new to the country. “If you look at the ancient architecture of Vittala Temple in Hampi or The Taj Mahal in Agra, or even the Lotus Mahal in Vijayanagara, you’ll see all of them being extremely environmentally conscious.”
Gollings will be accompanied by other photographers, each presenting their interpretations of sustainability, a subject that has caught up to speed with other pertinent global concerns. One sees an increasing number of people, organisations, and institutions promoting the idea of embracing sustainable ecosystems and working towards maintaining the inter-connectedness between the different elements of our tangible and intangible heritage.
You see this ethos being expressed in the technologically manipulated arrangement by Beatrice de Fays, a Franco-Belgian artist, whose work in the form of a multi-media video installation called VIA, is influenced by the music album called Passages by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, and how they collaborated without losing their individuality, yet giving birth to beautiful new sounds. This lies at the core of the larger sustainability discourse.
Spanish artist Miguel Ángel García takes a more direct approach to being ‘sustainable’ with her eponomous arrangement of photographs showing waste as worthwhile. “Through images that seek a poetics of garbage and that represent, in some way, a synthesis of everyday moments of our lives. The consumer society remains through the memory left by our waste and are the result of a civilisation that depletes the planet. Compressed waste, packaged and ready to be transformed and be part of the life of the next generation,” says García.
There is a definitive proposition that each artist puts out. It is to outline their effort within the framework of harnessing sustainability in our contemporary environment to give us all what the future beckons.
On view till March 18, at multiple venues, India Habitat Centre.