Arko Datto aim with photography is to question what it means to be a photographer in the digital age while simultaneously playing the role of observer and commentator on critical issues. Datto pursues narratives on seemingly disparate topics—forced migration, surveillance in the digital panopticon, disappearing islands, nocturnal realms and psychosomatic stress of captive animals to name a few. Although every narrative he explores is separate and different from the next, together they form threads of inquiry into the existential dilemmas of our times. By incorporating and developing diverse visual languages and styles, Datto wants to push the boundaries of both still and moving images. Datto was on his way to a doctorate in theoretical sciences before he decided to change course. Apart from working on his own visual projects, he also enjoys curating the works of others and has been associated with Kochi Biennale, Obscura Photography Festival and Chennai Photo Biennale, which he is co-curating in 2020.
Where do we go when the final wave hits
The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna Delta, comprising Bangladesh and West Bengal (India) is the world's largest delta. Due to human induced climate change, three-fourths of the Delta risk destruction from anthropogenic stress factors. This project looks at the psychological ramifications of climate change and the state of normalcy in the face of impending environmental crisis in the Delta, seen through the darkness of the night.
It seeks to build an equivalence between the global war on terror and the battle against climate change, which both deal with invisible yet omnipresent omnipotent enemies that can strike anytime anyhow anywhere.
- Project discussion on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 5pm
15 Avenue de l'Amiral Ganteaume
[Discussion] Quentin Bajac, director of the Jeu de Paume, in conversation with Arko Datto
On Tuesday 7, July 2020 from 11:30am to 1:00pm (3:00 PM - 4:30 PM IST), Arko Datto will have a discussion with Quentin Bajac, Director of Jeu de Paume, Paris about contemporary photography practices, recent exhibitions at Jeu de Paume and personal insights from Bajac's curatorial journey.
Les Carnets de Camargo
To cope with lockdown due to the covid-19 situation in France, we have encouraged our current residents to share their experiences, and so the collaborative project, Les Carnets de Camargo, was born. Visual, written, and spoken testimonies invite us into the residents' lockdown, on the banks of the Mediterranean, hovering between dreams and reality, between illusions and disillusion. As Les Carnets de Camargo also aims at being a bond for our community, through reflection and exchange, these creations will eventually be the testimony of this unprecedented moment.
Arko Datto participated in this project through Dinos of Hindostan, a story in several episodes which draws from his experiences in quarantine at the Residency and also from the evolving catastrophic pandemic situation in the subcontinent emerging from mismanagement, corruption and hastily enforced lockdown measures.
You can read the story here.