> The Deepak Puri Collection: Legacy of Photojournalism

28 April - 26 May, 2016

Tasveer and the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) bring together an exhibition titled Legacy of Photojournalism: The Deepak Puri Collection in Mumbai at TARQ on the 28th of April 2016. In early 2015, the esteemed former general manager and iconic photo editor of the Time-Life News Service’s South Asia bureau, Deepak Puri, donated his historic collection of photographs to the Museum of Art & Photography, MAP, in Bangalore. One of the most important archives of 20th-century journalism in the country, this collection of over 150 photographs includes some of the best practitioners of the documentary aesthetic. In collaboration with Tasveer, as part of its 10th anniversary celebrations, this exhibition — a selection from the larger collection — will make these photographs available for public viewing for the first time.

Of the virtuoso, tales of whose exploits fill books and still circulate in high-powered circles around the world, British author Pico Iyer writes in his book The Open Road (2008) — the “great and legendary office manager of Time’s New Delhi bureau...who seems to hold up much of the Time-Life empire and, I sometimes suspect, most of India single-handedly”. Representing the heart of Time Asia for a whole host of people, Deepak Puri was a wizard who made the impossible real, and ensured that the world saw the work of many photographic geniuses from Mary Ellen Mark to Raghubir Singh. His collection bears testimony to both the friendship and gratitude of several photographers, whose work he enabled and whose lives he touched. Culled from this collection, Legacy of Photojournalism includes a selection of works from thirty photographers, including internationally acclaimed seminal photojournalists such as James Nachtwey, Sebastião Salgado and Raghu Rai, to name but a few.

In an era before the widespread availability of not only the internet, but even television, photojournalism occupied a unique position in its capacity to capture and bring to light the truth of socio-politically significant events that were changing the world. Endowed with notions of indexicality and ‘being present’ — photography at the time was the closest one got, to ‘live’ action. Honouring that spirit, this exhibit therefore, brings together a range of images made historically momentous not only by their content, but also their style, emphasising both the role of photographs as socio-historical documents, as also highlighting the power of the still image and its affinity for story-telling — that cornerstone of the best of photojournalism.

In conjunction with the exhibition a new publication, produced by Tasveer in collaboration with MAP, will be available — serving as a catalogue and a commemoration of the donation of this remarkable collection to the museum. Carrying two new original essays by Pico Iyer and Ned Desmond, and a foreword by Tim McGirk, it also includes additional reproductions from the larger museum collection, aside from those already part of the show.

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