“Gurgaon is a paradigm for the new Indian city: entirely privatised with no public space, managed by a few companies which cater to the needs of the middle class. It’s an image as much as a place,” explains Arthur Crestani. In his series, Bad City Dreams, image and place are fused to construct a paradoxical and layered portrait of the rapidly expanded city, which lies 30km outside the capital, New Delhi. Borrowing from the Indian tradition of studio photography, Crestani photographed migrant workers, security guards and other Gurgaon locals outdoors against a mobile backdrop decorated with real-estate advertising imagery.
Last month BJP focused in on group work; this month we’re looking at a different kind of collaboration – projects in which photographers engage in a two-way dialogue with their subjects. One of the best – and the best-known – examples is Jim Goldberg, who works with subjects such as teenage runaways and migrants to tell wide-sweeping stories of marginalisation and economic disparity. Using an eclectic mix of photographs, archive materials and video, and both marking up himself and invites his subjects to write on, he creates complex montages guided by his sense of “intimacy, trust and intuition”. Incorporating the perspectives of the communities and subcultures he represents, his work is informed by his own background in a blue-collar family in New Haven.