A photographer can “dig” inside the others and inside himself. To look inside the others can be eventually helped by making their portraits, and to look inside yourself – by writing your diary. If you do both things in parallel, you can get a strange mix of the open and the hidden, of what you actually saw and what was there in your head concerning what you saw.
“The Pushkar Scrapbook” was made at one of the biggest camel fairs in the world, among hordes of tourists – who made you dream of a visual isolation.
Making portraits, I was very close to people, and as I cannot speak their language, we were sharing the whole by means of sight. In these moments it was important for me to step away from the disturbing surroundings with the ones who were photographed and to be alone in the frame.
While making a scrapbook like a diary, I was trying to reconstruct the atmosphere in a more controlled, but also a more subjective mode, using the widely spread elements of Indian visual culture: woodblock printing, drawings – including those of traditional culture animals, stickers, postcards, drips of paint, my own sketches of Pushkar, stamps, flowers and leaves – all those were assembled on colored paper with some author’s notes on what was up day to day.
“The Pushkar Scrapbook” in the portrait part tries to look at local people isolated from their surroundings, and as a scrapbook it shows how a stranger imagines what is around – superficially, but colorful.
PDF from Digital Photo magazine (Russian):