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Cinema Play House: Photographs by Nandita Raman, and 2010 Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Exhibition

Photograph by Nandita Raman

Cinema Play House: Photographs by Nandita Raman

Winner of the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize

September 13–December 23, 2010
Porch Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies


Daylight/CDS Photo Awards
Photographs by Elizabeth Moreno
Winner of the Works-in-Process Prize

and Erica Allen, Rachel Barrett, Priya Kambli, Jan Lieski, Paula McCartney, Martin Roemers, Daniel Stier, and Monika Sziladi, Jurors’ Pick Winners

September 13–December 23, 2010
University Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies

Reception: Thursday, September 23, 6–9 p.m.

In recognition of mutual interests in documentary and fine art photography, Daylight Magazine and the Center for Documentary Studies started an international competition in spring 2010, the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards, to honor and promote talented and committed photographers, both emerging and established. There are two awards, a Project Prize and a Work-in-Process Prize.

The Project Prize First Prize Winner receives a solo exhibition at CDS, a multimedia Daylight podcast, a feature in CDS’s newsmagazine Document, presentation in Daylight and CDS online galleries, and $1,000 for exhibition-related expenses. The Work-in-Process Prize First Prize Winner takes part in a group exhibition at CDS and is featured in Daylight and CDS online galleries, as well as in Daylight Magazine and CDS’s newsmagazine Document. Juror’s Pick Winners in both categories will be featured in the group exhibition as well as in Daylight and CDS online galleries.

Guest Jurors: Vince Aletti, Darius Himes, Julie Saul, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas, and Jamie Wellford

The Center for Documentary Studies and Daylight Magazine are proud to present the work of these gifted photographers.

Nandita Raman
Winner and Juror’s Pick (Julie Saul), Daylight/CDS Photo Awards Project Prize

Cinema Play House
India has a long association with cinema. The first Indian film was made as early as 1899. Today, the country is one of the world’s largest producers of films, churning out more than a thousand movies a year, with an audience of 3.6 billion people.

My mother’s family owned the first talkies cinema in my hometown of Varanasi, India. As a kid, a trip to the cinema was a big deal. With my cousins, I would venture into the auditorium and explore the box office and projector rooms. I would collect used bundles of tickets, posters, rejected film, almost anything that was part of the theater and wouldn’t be missed.

In the 1990s, home video became popular in India and movie theaters struggled to stay in business. Many theaters, including my family’s, closed down. The turn of the century saw a comeback for cinema halls, this time with smaller auditoriums and multiple screens that cater to the aesthetics of the “globalized” middle class.

When I began photographing the old theaters it felt like I was trying to in some way articulate childhood memories of the visits to my family’s theater. As I explored the subject further, what became increasingly interesting were the idiosyncrasies of these spaces. I realized that the halls were mostly designed by the owners themselves. Each theater was unique, unlike the multiplexes. Over many years of being occupied, these theaters seemed to contain cues to the psyches of the people who built and operated them: as if the arrangement of the space was a mirror to the occupant’s interior. I felt an intriguing play of elements in these spaces. A ladder in place of the screen, like an invitation to climb out of the mundane, or chairs with the seating sequence broken, bubbles emerging from a crack in the upholstery. It is these reflections, these cues that absorb me—the manifestations of the interaction between people and these spaces over time.

—Nandita Raman

Elizabeth Moreno

Winner and Juror’s Pick (Vince Aletti), Work-in-Process Prize

Erica Allen
Juror’s Pick (Hank Willis Thomas), Work-in-Process Prize

Rachel Barrett
Juror’s Pick (Hank Willis Thomas), Project Prize

Priya Kambli
Juror’s Pick (Vince Aletti), Project Prize

Jan Lieske
Juror’s Pick (Jamie Wellford), Project Prize

Paula McCartney
Juror’s Pick (Darius Himes), Work-in-Process Prize

Martin Roemers
Juror’s Pick (Jamie Wellford), Work-in-Process Prize

Daniel Stier
Juror’s Pick (Darius Himes and Alec Soth), Project Prize

Monika Sziladi
Juror’s Pick (Julie Saul and Alec Soth), Work-in-Process Prize

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