The Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF) / The Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Grant for Photography* in collaboration with The Foundation for Indian Contemporary Art (FICA),
invites you to an illustrated talk on photography by artist historian

Ruth Rosengarten
‘The Staged and Constructed Image’

Moderator, Ravi Aggarwal
Respondents, Prashant Panjiar and Devika Daulet-Singh.

On Tuesday 8th November, 2016, 5.45 pm
at Vadehra Art Gallery, D-53 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110024.

The evening will begin with tea and snacks. The talk will begin sharp at 6.15 pm.  The programme will last about 2 hours.

On the ‘The Staged and Constructed Image’, Ruth Rosengarten says:

‘The link between photography and the real is a forceful one, entrenched both historically and culturally: “documentary” is the default mode of photography. In this talk, I shall explore the contemporary modes of constructed and staged photography, which oppose this connection. As its moniker suggests, “staged photography” entails the elaborate setting up of a scenario before the action of the shutter fixes the capture. “Constructed photography,” sometimes also called “post-photography,” entails the working of one or more photographic images into a revised or new image; but it might also entail processes that do not, in effect, require the use of a camera at all. While staged photography began to enjoy popularity in the 1980s and 90s, with the postmodern probing of medium-specificity and the structures and tropes of representation, constructed photography has come into its own with digital post-production, from the early 21st century. Nevertheless, arguably, constructed photography pre-existed the digital age as photomontage, and staged photography as, in some senses, always been with us in the still life and portrait genres. I shall be looking at the points of contact and overlap between staged and constructed photography, and also at the ways in which there are persistent cultural continuities in photographic practice, despite enormous technological changes. My examples will be almost all of contemporary photographic works, gathered from the work of international practitioners.’

Ruth Rosengarten ( is artist, art historian and freelance writer/researcher, and curator. She holds a doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. Born in Israel, she has lived in South Africa, London and Portugal. She now lives and works in Cambridgeshire, UK. Currently, she is Research Associate, Visual Identities in Art and Design, University of Johannesburg. Research interests and studio work focus on photographic practices: staged and constructed photography, family albums and archives; representations of the ill and the dying, and evocative objects. Most recent curatorial project: From Memory to Archive, Berardo Museum, Lisbon, 2014. Forthcoming: ‘From Family Album, via Archive, to Photographic Installation in the Digital Era: The Making of Vivan Sundaram’s Re-Take of Amrita’, in Critical Arts, special issue provisionally titled (Vernacular) Photography from India and Africa: Collections, Preservation, Dialogue, February 2018. She reviews photographic exhibitions in the UK, in the journal Photography & Culture, and contemporary art exhibitions on the online journal London Grip. For immediate interest, see: ’How Close is Closer: The Work of Dayanita Singh,, November (

Look forward to your presence at the talk.
Vivan Sundaram, Vidya Shivadas,  Devika Daulet-Singh

* For The Umrao Singh Sher-Gil Grant for Photography, see

For further inquires contact:
Gayatri Uppal at
Shivangi Singh at / 46103550/51
Currently on at Vadehra Art Gallery: An exhibition of recent drawings and photographs by Dutch artist Juul Kraijer. Her meticulously planned studio pictures are a striking example of staged photography. For more information please see