Inaugurated in 2016 as Travel Photo Jaipur, JaipurPhoto is an international photography festival established along the lines of GoaPhoto, aimed at displacing art from the gallery setting and making it more accessible to audiences. To this end, the festival incorporates the local history and natural and architectural landscapes of the city in its exhibitions, transforming public landmarks such as the Hawa Mahal, the Albert Hall Museum and Jantar Mantar into site-specific outdoor exhibition spaces.
Following GoaPhoto’s success and its benefits to the culture and tourism of the region, the Rajasthan government approached Lola Mac Dougall and Nikhil Padgaonkar, co-founders of GoaPhoto, to create a similar festival in Jaipur. Mac Dougall has since worked as the festival’s artistic director. The inaugural 2016 edition of the festival explored travel photography by artists such as Nishant Shukla, Serena Chopra, Anna Fox and Karen Knorr, which were displayed in large format across public locations in the city, including the Jawahar Kala Kendra and the Albert Hall Museum.
The 2017 edition explored the same theme and featured twenty-one photo essays by the participating artists that were exhibited around the architectural heritage of the city. The works explored the transformation of travel, from being previously mediated by entities such as travel agents to being filtered through multiple devices, databases and reviews.
Moving away from the theme of travel photography of previous editions, the 2018 edition, titled “Homeward Bound,” explored the diverse meanings and associations attached to the notion of home. The photographs in the exhibition were displayed in various historic sites across the city to explore what home means for people around the world. Participating artists for this edition included Arko Datto, Asmita Parelkar, Soham Gupta, Ram Chand, Tereza Zelenkova, Terje Abusdal and Salvatore Vitale.
JaipurPhoto’s legacy opens up curatorial debates on the use of the white cube-style gallery space versus the use of domestic, historic and site-specific spaces, prompting audiences to reflect on the importance of the architectural landscape and cultural history of the city and community within which artworks are exhibited.
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