'Oblivious' and 'Bombay' By Linesh Desai Will Have You Wishing You Could Explore Mumbai Now - Homegrown

'Oblivious' and 'Bombay' By Linesh Desai Will Have You Wishing You Could Explore Mumbai Now

Often times, one captures the memory of a place, of people, or even of things that they wish they could revisit on demand. Something about the feeling it invoked is so untouchable that only experiencing it once more would be satisfactory.

Linesh Desai’s ‘Oblivious’ is a series of photos that come close to fulfilling that feeling. With the representation of various people from Mumbai, the photo series explores the city in a manner that celebrates its everydayness. “Comprising detail-oriented images of people from the city, it gives the viewer some insight into their lives and cultures. Yet, it leaves a lot of other things open to interpretation,” says Linesh. Nothing about the series screams out ‘Mumbai’ but in its own subtle and ingenious ways, it allows the viewer to tie it back to the city’s charm and culture.

Not one to follow written concepts or set norms, Linesh says that he is visual-driven. If anything were to stand out to him visually, he would capture it then and there. Venturing out to apprehend the beauty of his surroundings is almost like a daily ritual, and the pictures from the ‘Oblivious’ series do justice to just that.

“The textures, the patterns, the clothes, the accessories – all of these attribute to telling us a story about who these people are and where they come from,” elaborates Linesh. The pictures, however, are not portraits of people. They are raw, real, and exposed forms of them in their natural surroundings as it enables Linesh to convey their message through his.

As part of ‘Pause’, the virtual exhibition by Method Art Space that scours art projects have for various reasons been put on hold, Linesh explains the reason behind pausing his project, “I don’t think I can ever really put an end to any of my projects. The open-endedness of their nature keeps them simultaneously in motion and stationary at the same time. The more I continue to explore and grow as an artist, the further my projects and subjects evolve over time.” He believes that no project is ever really over; it is a continuous, spontaneous and fluid process.

Linesh has also uploaded these 64 short video snippets of ‘Bombay’ as part of the exhibition. From the joyful roars of laughter of children while playing football in fields, to the energetic passing of a local, the clips are sure to bring about a sense of familiarity for Mumbaikars. The random set of videos, covering the fervour and vehemence of the city are not upfront and forthcoming. The monotony itself is somewhat exciting and relatable. With a record of almost every day in his camera roll, the series is extremely personal and also flows from one clip to another.

Being a Mumbai-based artist, Linesh has seen the city evolve around him. Feeling a sense of responsibility from within, he documented what ‘Bombay’ is today. During the lockdown and quarantine period, he would explore the outdoors and turn it into a memory for himself and others.

With not many ways of exploring the outside, or experiencing things that were unbeknownst yet normal to us, it is art such as that of Linesh that allows us to feel a tinge of normal. We may not always discern it, but art has been here for us through this pandemic as an escape into our past.

You can find the series here.

It is also available on the Method Art Space Instagram page and on Linesh Desai’s Instagram page too.

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