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Artist Vijai Patchineelam presented the photo book Samba Shiva: The Photographs of Sambasiva Rao Patchineelam (text by Hemant Sareen and Beatriz Lemos). This was followed by a Q&A.

Samba Shiva, the result of the 2017 photography grant from Zum/ Instituto Moreira Salles, is a son’s reading of the photographic archive of his father. Brazilian artist Vijai Patchineelam commemoratively reimagines the momemtous journey from Andhra Pradesh to Rio de Janeiro undertaken by his father Sambasiva, a scientist who emigrated to Brazil at the end of the 1970s. Sambasiva graduated with a degree in Geology from India, received his Masters in Austria and PhD in Germany, before arriving in Salvador to teach at the Federal University of Bahia. In 1972, he received a Minolta camera as a gift from a friend and since then, he has registered family moments in both Brazil and India, as well as his professional activities and research trips. The photographs taken in different cities of India now acquire a historical value, since the access to photo cameras in the country was restricted, thanks to insular economic policies. Now, these photographs have been digitalized and treated by Vijai, who stated in the project proposal: “It’s important to think of this book not as an appropriation of these images made by my father, but a process of thinking through them.” In this way, the artist took on the roles of the editor and the organizer of the book, since the authorship of the book is credited to Sambasiva. The displacement of functions is part of a larger project Vijai pursues in his PhD research concerning a practice-led project that looks to employ artists as artists, inside the administration of art institutions.

This presentation has been made possible with the support of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Artesis Plantijn University College).

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