FOR 56-YEAR-OLD PABLO BARTHOLOMEW, the time has come to relive a moment from his childhood. Frozen in a black-and-white portrait taken in the early 1960s by his father, Richard Bartholmew, a seven-year-old Pablo stares at the camera rebelliously while sitting in a dark corner of his then-residence in Old Delhi, leaning against a drab wall with his knees bent upwards while carrying a notebook on his lap.
Five decades later, Pablo has decided to reenact the pose. But a lot has changed since then. His hairless, youthful face has been roughened by a grey beard, and his eyes have softened with time. And behind the camera, in place of his father, is an Argentine photographer, Irina Werning, who has been travelling around the world recreating photographed moments captured in the past. The title of her project is Back to the Future 2. And Pablo, a Delhi-based photographer, is one of her subjects. It is an intimate moment for a family of photographers—that Pablo, having chosen the profession for himself, is revisiting his childhood role as the subject of his father’s compositions.
One morning, soon after Werning enters a South Delhi apartment owned by Pablo’s aunt, she fixes her gaze on a dark wall. “Here,” she says, “I think we can do it here.” After covering a small portion of the wall with a rectangular piece of gray fabric, she wraps three cushions with a black cloth. As Pablo enters the room dressed in a dull shirt tucked into his shorts, Werning’s face lights up with satisfaction. “You look good,” she says. “Take off your watch.”
Already a subscriber? Sign in