swipe right → or hold shift and scroll
In the dark, the chaotic wires from poles to poles, across the road, over the head, from trees to houses, down the allies create a sort of coherence. These chaotic wires around the city have always represented an entangled reality of Dhaka city (Bangladesh). The State has initiated and published newspaper articles quoting that these wire poles will no longer exist beyond the year 2022, which compelled me to archive my reality. I intend to create shapes and forms using several light sources to produce a sculptural typology of objects like poles and wires and the environment around it. I had an urge to sneak out in the streets at midnight and capture images of steel structures, transformer poles and power cables, much vivid as an existence in the background of our adaptive sight. The references of these subtle and abstract arti-facts metals and wires are for people living a century ahead of my time and Philosophy. These photographs would be a representation of my time.
The duality of fact and image, which had once been fully explored by the exponents of the historic movement of Surrealism, always makes the ‘reality in the second degree’ (Sontag’s definition of photography) seems more interesting than the actual experience of reality. Sounak Das takes full advantage of such double-facetedness of photography without inclining too much towards the surreal. He stays focused on what is real by setting his lens to the most obvious subject matter – tangled wires that at once echo urban problematics and a romantic eye that discovers beauty in ugliness.
The dromological dimension of a city surfaces in its fallout zones, in places where its fabric is crumpled, torn even. Development at a prescribed pace often leave in its wake unattended seams. This is exactly what this young photographer zeroes in on, making us pause and pay attention.
The strangeness that his images unveil affects our visual consumption, which is the norm in the late-capital era. We relish their directness but do not wish to be touched by their haunting quality. They are unpeopled; this fact draws us to its uncanny aspect, though Sounak plays it down, perhaps intentionally. As ‘straight’ image, as opposed to the ones that plate up metaphors and symbols, these works are like a testimony of a photographer who has embraced his surroundings without hesitation. The love and hate relationship one develops with a city, after finding oneself in the role of a flaneur, leaves one with a choice of peering into the sites which may be linked to urban degradation, but still demand a protracted gaze so that we are able to see beauty in the most mundane of things.
– Mustafa Zaman