Impressions of Europe
We live in the world of represented reality. Photography is one vast region where the represented world, as usual, is reflected through the prism of subjectivity of any photographer or artist. Photographer Kashef's endeavour too is no exception. He looks at the world from a modernist perspective. Through his lens things are endowed with a quality that often renders the familiar strange and remote, and things sometimes even pushed to the boundary where they start to look expressionistic.
His frames of an industrial landscape, or an artist's studio, or even a city speak of man's alienation as they dwell either on the gestural aspect or spatial emptiness of the experienced reality.
Kashef is well known as an architect, but he also considers himself to be a photographer. "I used to work as a professional at the beginning, now I work on my own, but I consider myself a photographer," he points out. It has been 15 years since he first picked up the camera, and after that there has been no letting up in his effort to capture what he finds interesting.
"I was moving through the cities of Europe and things left a deep impression on me," Kashef says about the work of his present exhibition titled 'Impression 0505' at Drik galley.
"Usually it is the Europeans who have the prerogative to look at us, I have tried to reverse that role and as an Asian I have taken a neutral stance, usually the Europeans look at us with the eye of the one who has colonised us," says Kashef, shedding light on the disinterested stance that many snaps have brought to the fore.
Interestingly, the photographer considers his works to be of anthropological importance. He says, "I try to work against the idea of compositions." In the work titled 'Zollverein, Essen' the number 425 carries meaning, it is a number inscribed on a coal carrying car of the coal-mine that Essen is known for," Kashef elucidates. He points out that it freezes a moment that refers back in the history of the coalminers' travails. He is emphatic about the fact that it is not a mere composition that he aims to achieve.
Most of Kashef's works are unpeopled, but the details that he achieves through the 'medium format' camera that he uses is astonishingly sharp. Their sharpness makes the viewer stop and concentrate. All the photographs in the show were taken in the month of May of this year, hence the title of the show "Impression 0505".
(R) thedailystar.net 2005