CATEGORIES

Falling In Love (Again): India's Weaves Story

India’s love affair with handwoven cloth shows no signs of abating. Open any fashion magazine or newspaper and weaves get ample play. Designers up and down the country extol the virtues of weaves, proudly brandishing their innovative work with weavers to contemporise motifs and palettes. This is laudable but hardly surprising.

4 mins read
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July - December 2017

Regal Renaissance: The Royal Opera House Re-opens

The Royal Opera House Mumbai is widely touted as ‘Mumbai’s cultural crown jewel’ and India’s only surviving opera house. The original idea for the space was conceived of in 1908. It was inaugurated in 1911 by King George V, and eventually completed in 1916. The design incorporated a blend of European and Indian detailing.

3 mins read
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July - December 2017

Technologies Of Elegance

As soon as you enter the exhibition space in Bikaner House, the display ahead sort of takes your breath away. It’s a carefully crafted mise-enscène, filled with dangling screens, suspended sequins, overflowing jewellery boxes, glass displays, and more. And yet, in spite of the exquisite setting, and the props that inhabit it, your focus never wavers from the clothes, which form the essence of the exhibition.

6 mins read
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July - December 2017

Fictioning The Landscape: Robert Smithson And Ruins In Reverse

That zero panorama seemed to contain ruins in reverse, that is – all the new construction that would eventually be built. This is the opposite of the ‘romantic ruin’ because the buildings don’t fall into ruin after they are built but rather rise into ruin before they are built. –Robert Smithson, “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey”

6 mins read
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July - December 2017

Kerala Boy

The Kerala boy stands alone, facing the sea or what looks like the sea. Water is never far from his feet. His eyes are dark and his hair is blacker than the best Tellicherry pepper. He is an inch taller than most and a little long in the tooth. He likes the language of protest. He likes the flavour of a season called ‘Left’.

4 mins read
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July - December 2017

Ghosts Of Ghan-Town

Landing gracefully on a rock, the camel tucked in its wings And wondered if this was perhaps Miryam Springs? This parched and desolate landscape was not what he hoped to find What of the flourishing settlement he had once left behind? 

1 min read
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July - December 2017

Delicate Animals

The humidity is sabotage and my skin is undone. I’ve always had a preference for dryness. While other women fear wrinkles, I never mind the beginnings of a crease. They seem cleaner, those intersecting lines. But then I’ve never been afraid of getting older, of being an abstraction.

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July - December 2017

The Smuggler: A Mural By Sadequain

The story goes that Sadequain (1930 – 1987), living in Karachi, was exhausted and in poor health. He was offered a stay at a government rest house at Gadani in 1958, so that he could recover. Gadani is located in the province of Balochistan on the Arabian Sea, a few kilometers west of Karachi. It must have felt quite remote from the city back then. The western coastline of Pakistan has long been infamous for underdevelopment and for unregulated trade activities with West Asia.

4 mins read
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July - December 2017

Complete Love

It’s 2011, late summer. All over Europe, young people are occupying central public squares to demonstrate for more social justice. In Berlin, their agenda is different. The completists gathered at Alexanderplatz aspire for justice primarily on an intimate level. They believe that only when the redistribution of material wealth includes equal chances of finding sex and love — no matter how elderly, disabled, or ugly you are — communism will become real.

10 mins read
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July - December 2017

A Writer's Discourse

There are two moments in Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus that I come back to often. The first is an epitaph that Socrates uses to explain bad writing, which he recites (and I will now quote) in full:

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July - December 2017

Future Imaginaries for When the World Feels Like Heartbreak

I awoke the day after the United States election and my heart hurt. I felt devastated and afraid. My breath seemed to be constricted. Stepping outside was like stepping into a land in mourning. People looked sad and tired and depressed. I went to the wrong campus searching for the class I was meant to guest teach. When I began to come out of this stunned stupor, I started to realise that my silences, my inaction, my disbelief in the depth of what Michelle Alexander calls racial indifference, coupled with renewed and blatant white nationalism, had led to this moment.1 In the weeks since that day, there has been a huge amount of mobilising in the face of renewed white supremacy and corporatocracy. Mobilising for what, precisely, we cannot yet be sure. But it doesn’t look good. And everyday it seems to get worse. What has become clearer and clearer, for me, in the wake of the election is the deep entwinement of the twin formations that are often treated as separate phenomenon. That is, white supremacy and ecological disaster. I want to make a case in the brief space here that racial and environmental justice cannot be separated, but are part of an entangled matrix of capitalism and colonialism that is killing the majority of the inhabitants on this earth.2. 

2 mins read
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January - June 2017

Creative Ecologies

Upon this handful of soil our survival depends. Husband it and it will grow our food, our fuel, and our shelter and surround us with beauty. Abuse it and the soil will collapse and die, taking humanity with it.

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January - June 2017

The Body of the Crime

How can critical spatial practice today make invisible crimes visible? Let me be clear by giving an explicit environmental meaning to this singular question. The invisible or the less visible crimes of environmental violence are those committed against nature and subaltern social groups for the accumulation of capital. In the conflict between the economy and the environment the cost of capitalism is an increasing output of toxic waste. The fact that nature is still cheap is not a sign of abundance but “a result of a given distribution of property rights, power and income”1. The evil twin of the territorial scale displacement of people is the massive displacement of pollution to other nations. As animals mark their territories with stinking urine, humans claim territory by polluting the earth.2 Human species have come to appropriate the earth through pollution. 

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January - June 2017

Crafting her First Decade: Gunjan Gupta

Most design-artists would be pleased to participate in one international design show in Italy to mark the 10th anniversary of their practice; Gunjan Gupta gets to celebrate the milestone with two.

3 mins read
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July - December 2016

Unspoken, not Unforgotten

Writing on Contemporary Art of Southeast Asia.

7 mins read
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July - December 2016

why do artists write on art?

once, there were newspaper reviews. they connected art writing to the artist and to an audience, with immediacy.

2 mins read
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july - december 2016

Kalpana's Warriors

Conversation between Ina Puri & Shahidul Alam.

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July - December 2016

409 Ramkinkars Sculptural Installation and Theatre

When Ramkinkar was asked whether he privileged sculpture or painting, he said “I ride two horses at the same time”. He rode a third  horse as well and this was performance — theatre and song — which he loved with equal passion. The project, 409 Ramkinkars, proposed the aesthetics of installation as a prompt for theatre. And the other way around — theatre as a prompt to conceive an installation.

6 mins read
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July - December 2016