August 10, 2007
"Michael Putnam: Pilgrim India," a Photography Exhibit at Webster University's May Gallery
"Michael Putnam: Pilgrim India," a photography exhibit presented at Webster University's May Gallery. Pilgrimage is the temporal road to the heart of the eternal. Pilgrims, at great personal sacrifice, travel to festivals where they may enter the sacral moment by stepping into the Ganges. The custom of pilgrimage to the Ganges was recorded first in the seventh century. Today eighty million Indians per year make pilgrimage. They go alone or in groups, sometimes whole villages, to immerse themselves in the holy mother and purify themselves of their sins.This is travel in the spirit of seeking, of pure obligation alive with adventure, the known and the hoped for. Here is a festive people, the heart of culture, the life away from the repetitions and intersections of routine expectations. Here are Hindu pilgrims gathered in celebration. This is where yearning intercepts the present. The photographs in the exhibition were taken at various bathing festivals along the Ganges over a period of 40 years.
Opening reception August 24, 2007, 5-7 p.m.
Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday
May Photography Gallery
Sverdrup Building, Webster University, 8300 Big Bend Blvd., 2nd Floor
Free and open to the public
246-7673 or www.webster.edu/maygallery
Michael Putnam is a native New Yorker with a visual interest in the anthropology of everyday life and in the way the image of what has gone before visually inhabits the present. He has photographed notably in the towns and cities of the continental U. S. and along the Ganges, and has been part of a multi-media project photographing daily life in Tokyo, Moscow, London and New York. He has published, among other photographic books, "Silent Screens: The Decline and Transformation of the American Movie Theater," Johns Hopkins Press.