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Re-take of Amrita

Digital Photomontages

Vivan Sundaram

November 2001

8.5 x 9.75 inches

56 pages

ISBN : 978-81-85229-49-2

INR 400

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Re-take of ‘Amrita’ is a book of 38 digital photomontages by Vivan Sundaram, with a preface and annotation by the artist-author. These montages are the result of a ‘collaborative’ photographic project: between Umrao Singh Sher-Gil (1870–1954), the ‘essential’ photographer (who took numerous self-portraits), and Vivan Sundaram, who orchestrates with a digital wand, archival photographs of the Sher-Gil family. Vivan enters the space of the Sher-Gil homes and makes the members of the family enact (and re-enact) moments of radiating desire under his direction. The ‘encounters’ generated in this process of re-casting the family in new roles elaborate into a fictional narrative. The central axis of the ‘cinematic plot’ is the relationship between the father, Umrao Singh and the artist-daughter, Amrita (1913–41).

Vivan Sundaram

Vivan Sundaram was born in Shimla in 1943. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University of Baroda, Vadodara, and the Slade School of Fine Art, London, in the 1960s. He returned to India in 1970 and continued painting. Since 1990 he has turned to making artworks as sculpture, installation, photography and video. These works have been widely exhibited nationally and internationally. He has also organized artists’ workshops, curated exhibitions and done public art projects. A member of the Sher-Gil family, Vivan Sundaram has been engaged with the Sher-Gil project for over thirty years – as artist, curator, editor and archivist. The Sher-Gil Family, a painting made in 1983–1984, and The Sher-Gil Archive, an installation made in 1995, are precursors to his 'Re-take of Amrita’, a series of digital photomontages made in 2001.