1Shanthiroad studio/gallery

Notorious Rowdies” – A Photography Exhibition by Clare Arni

Opens TODAY, Nov 17, 2018. 7PM onwards. Following the opening at Gallery Sumukha.
On display till Nov 25, 2018. 10AM – 7PM

About Notorious Rowdies:

1Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery is delighted to present “Notorious Rowdies” – a series of performative photographs by Clare Arni – first exhibited at gallery TARQ, Mumbai in 2017. The term ‘rowdy’ has a particularly evocative quality in South India. The ‘rowdy’ is an unsavory character, an outlaw, with a strangely alluring bravado. Clare Arni’s fascination with the figure of the ‘rowdy’ began a few years ago while scouring the crime beat section of a local daily, the Deccan Herald. This captivating section carried sordid tales of the nefarious activities of local gangsters, many of whom carried cryptic and outlandish aliases like Dairy, Chicken, and JCB. The crime beat section and its sensationalist reportage style were for Arni, an echo of the garish aesthetic of film posters that are plastered across Bangalore, the city she calls home. The posters glamorized violence, with larger than life characters in ludicrous scenarios.

Fascinated by the specific persona of the ‘rowdy’, Arni began toying with the idea that perhaps there is violence and drama in all of us; a rowdy under the surface, waiting to leap out. She began her project by photographing friends – fellow artists and writers – in various modes of the ‘rowdy’.  The participants were asked to delve into the inner life of the rowdy they had chosen to embody, creating elaborate backstories and crime sheets. What began as a fun project has turned into a series of performative photographs that are simultaneously humorous and macabre, with an aesthetic reminiscent of a low budget film.  They unearth the dark fantasies of the subjects while also serving as a mirror to the universal voyeuristic fascination with violence.

About Clare Arni:

Clare Arni is a photographer based in Bangalore, India. Her work encompasses social documentary and cultural heritage. She has been published by leading British book publishers Phaidon, Thames and Hudson and Dorling Kindersley. She has also contributed work to magazines like Abitare (Italy) Tatler, Conde Nast (UK) Wallpaper, The Wall street journal and Harvard Design magazine as well as many Indian magazines. Her solo photographic books document the history of the architecture of Banaras, Palaces of the Deccan, the recent excavations of Hampi, the capital of the Vijaynagar Empire and a four-month journey along the course of the river Kaveri. Her solo exhibitions document the lives of marginalized communities in some of the most remote regions of India and the disappearing trades of urban India. Her work has been exhibited internationally at the Essl Museum, Vienna Austria, Grosvenor Vadehra, London, Bose Pacia, New York, Berkeley art museum, California and is the permanent collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London, the Freer/Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.