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The Vermont Cynic

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Photographer captures India

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Getting a glimpse of somewhere far away is easier than you may think.

The Fleming Museum will host “1008,” an exhibit focused on the work of photographer Catherine Jansen, starting Jan. 31. Jansen’s frequent trips to India serve as the inspiration for the exhibit and the book it’s based on.

Her talent lies not just in her careful study of Indian culture, but her ability to capture what is often hidden, Andrea Rosen, curator at the Fleming, said.

Jansen’s commitment to forming connections with those she meets “allows her to access rituals and spaces that a lot of people, Indian or not, male or female, avoid or are not welcome in,” Rosen said.

Although Jansen’s work is centered on chronicling Indian life in general, her website highlights a focus on children, animals and religious practices.

The real magic is in how Jansen transforms her pictures, Rosen said. The artist combines her photographs into larger composite pieces, which can reach up to 80 inches wide, she said.

In a Dec. 2016 press release, Jansen described her finished products as “intimate immensities [that]seek to recreate how we experience spaces in spiritual, emotional and sensory ways.”

The process gives the photos a unique impact, Rosen said.

“It’s not like a panorama – it doesn’t have the distortion of a panorama,” she said. “Instead, it sort of captures the way a scene surrounds you.”

To further this idea, the exhibit will include a slideshow of all 1,008 photos from the book, accompanied by ambient sounds. Additionally, the pieces will be  identified by a number instead of aname.

“Catherine doesn’t really like the idea of labeling the works, titling them, saying when or where they were,” Rosen said. “She wants people to move through it more meditatively.”

“1008” will be on display in the East Gallery of the Fleming until May 21.

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The University of Vermont's Independent Voice Since 1883
Photographer captures India