Condition of Urbanity

Our world is today changing at a pace unparalleled in human history and the human condition throughout the world is getting re-defined by the constantly shifting social, political and economic forces. My work investigates this continuously evolving world-order through explorations of natural and built environments and their interrelationship. I am particularly drawn towards certain transient zones within urban environments, where the dualities of chaos and order, death and revitalization, and spectacular and banal constantly refer to our transforming world, both physically and metaphorically.

I started working on this series in Europe in 2004 with a very simple concept in mind; to create photographic typologies of the street, public places and urban infrastructure. Initially my explorations were based on factors like rational order, standardization and urban segregation, but with time my interest grew in the significant presence of urban-voids within the city fabric of these cities and its references to the history, loss, alienation and vulnerability of society.

In 2005, I began photographing in India with the objective of continuing with the project, but on the streets of New Delhi, my patiently formulated notions of urban form & dynamics quickly faded away as I was greeted by a densely hanging smog, meticulously disorganized traffic and little urban demarcation in terms of land use. In spite of being born and raised in India, I had a hard time negotiating through the city I had known so well. One thing that stood out clearly was that the city was growing phenomenally and the harmony between city's form and surrounding landscape was being constantly compromised by massive suburbanization, migrant influx and heightened public consumption; an indelible stamp of growth, for better or worse.

Later that year, during an artist residency at the Center for photography at Woodstock, NY, I began photographing in the Central & Western New York area, with specific references to the industrial townships that flourished during the manufacturing based economic boom in the sixties, but are now challenged by the closure of industry, outsourcing of jobs, and out-flux of younger population. I went back to the Catskills in the summer of 2006.