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> Fire Continuum

Fire Continuum

Ronny Sen

23 August - 29 September, 2018


Fire Continuum is Ronny Sen’s second solo exhibition at TARQ. Following his last exhibition in Mumbai, New World Chronicles of an Old World Colour presented in 2016, this exhibition continues to highlight Sen’s photographic engagement with the contemporary landscape. Shifting his lens to Jharia, a coal mining town in Jharkhand, the artist looks deeply into the current issue of environmental degradation that has made life unlivable in some parts of the world.

Sen captures images of the coal fire that has been burning in Jharia since the early 1900s, as well as unethical and unsustainable mining practices that continue in the area till today. The result of this is a set of entirely surreal images that are simultaneously morbid and immeasurably beautiful. Initially published as a book titled End of Time (Nazar Photography Monographs 04) in 2017, the photographs in the exhibition allow an opportunity to explore in detail how precious the environment is in this very moment.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue essay penned by Professor of Anthropology and Visual Culture at University College London, Christopher Pinney. In his essay Pinney examines the singular white Hindustan Ambassador in the series and says, “Looking back and forth over the translucent, almost archetypal and emblematical images of this extraordinary cruel and viscous landscape, one is stopped short, almost with a jolt by a (to my eyes) sardonic photograph near the beginning of the series that depicts a white Hindustan Ambassador at the absolute centre of a dead, heavy, landscape…[this car] helps us understand that his accomplishment is not so much to provide a way into Jharia, since his images eschew the specific temporal and spatial precision of much photography. He clearly uses his camera to provide a different pathway, a way into the future, which is not only India’s, a future that has already begun, and which has no end.”

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Ronny Sen


Ronny Sen (1986) was born in Silchar, Assam. In the early 90’s, he moved with his family to Salt Lake City in Calcutta where he still lives and works. He made his first artist book titled Khmer Din in 2013. Sen represented India at the World Young Artists Event in Nottingham (2012) and was the recipient of the Jenesys Creators’ Programme for an artist residency in Japan, on invitation by The Japan Foundation (2012). His work was part of the exhibition In Secrecy at the Art Heritage gallery (2011). In 2015, the Polish Institute invited him to be an artist-in-residence in Poland which resulted in two solo residency exhibitions at gallery Tarq in Bombay and Latitude 28 in New Delhi.

His works were also part of the exhibition Abandon, presented by the Gujral Foundation (2015). His photographs are included in the permanent collection of the Alkazi Collection of Photography. In the year 2016, he won the Getty Images Instagram Grant for his work End of Time in the Jharia coal mines, which were exhibited at Noorderlicht Festival’s show Arena at the Belvedere Museum, Netherlands and at Photoville in New York. He published his second book End Of Time with Nazar Monographs in 2017. He is working on his next book and his first feature film Cat Sticks.

Press

  • Highlighting environmental issues by capturing reality

    Photographer Ronny Sen’s second solo show at Mumbai’s Tarq Gallery is titled Fire Continuum. Following his last exhibition in Mumbai, New World Chronicles Of An Old World Colour, presented in 2016, the new exhibition, Fire Continuum, continues to highlight Sen’s photographic engagement with the contemporary landscape. Shifting his lens to Jharia, a coal mining town in Jharkhand, the artist looks deeply into the current issue of environmental degradation that has made life unlivable in some parts of the world.

    18 Aug 2018
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  • Witnessing the Apocalypse

    Ronny Sen's exhibition on the coal mining town of Jharia takes a deep look at environmental degradation

    The Afternoon DC
    07 Sep 2018
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  • Road to Perdition

    Brown forests, lakes of fire. Burning mountains and broken temples. Empty villages — all consumed by toxic fumes. In photographer Ronny Sen’s rendition of Jharia - a coal mining town in Jharkhand, the earth seems to come alive of its own accord. Sprouting neither greens nor grain, it implodes and explodes as though in rage, unable to contain the fire that has been burning in its belly for over a century.

    The Hindu
    07 Sep 2018
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  • Highway to Hell

    On a livid colour wall, in 21 photographs of 9 x 6.75 inches, a fire is burning. As static as the photographs are, the sequentially changing shapes of the flames emerging out of the pitch-black ground gives mobility to the immobile. These photographs along with the 40 other photographs exhibited at Tarq, an art gallery in Colaba, narrates the tale of the infamous coal fires that have been burning in Jharia for more than hundred years. And the storyteller is the Kolkata-based photographer and filmmaker Ronny Sen.

    Asian Age
    12 Sep 2018
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  • Embers of the Dying Future

    Photographs offer a documentation of a time. One singular moment, reference, trigger of a memory that was. Fire Continuum, previously published as End of Time, tells of time that will continue as is; the beginning of endlessness, when nothing will move along with the days making it appear as though this, that is now, will last forever.

    Matters of Art
    27 Sep 2018
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