Contested Spaces

Contested in my mind would be a spaces where there is a sense of competition. It can be urban vs rural, historic vs modern.There are two meanings attached to the word contested one being, to engage in competition to attain (a position of power) second, oppose (an action or theory) as mistaken or wrong. So either related in context of space defines a it to be a place or structure of power play. A place of struggle and competition.

When we refer to space there is a question of scale and impact. Contested spaces depending on the scale will have a huge or small impact according to me. For example if we take a courtroom. There are two parties trying to convince a judge who shall decide their fate. Here the impact can be national or global. But spaces like classrooms where the scale is small and the impact is more individual. But in either case I think the scale of the place affects the impact may that be positive or negative.

Contested spaces I think can also be positive because it can have a good impact and bring out the best in people. Places like classroom and wanting to be the best can being excellence in fields like sports or academics. But, in todays time people have gone over board. Space itself have created wars. Space denotes power and money.

Poetics of Space

The Poetics of Space  is a 1958 book by Gaston Bachelard. The book describes the beauty of household spaces with details and literature. The spaces which resides at our house with minute detail and elegance forms an enchanting aura which shapes out memories and dreams. The comfort of our own home and the dream of something more. The palace and cottage moments in our lives and their importance. Every little space has a life of its own and understanding of its existence.

“The man with the magnifying glass takes the world as though it were quite new to him. If he were to tell us of the discoveries he has made, he would furnish us with documents of pure phenomenology, in which discovery of the world, or entry into the world, would be more than just a worn out word, more than a word that has become tarnished through over frequent philosophical use”.

Miniatures start with the difference between what is fantastic and what is fantastical. “The cleverer I am at miniaturizing the world, the better I possess it”. One takes the best from the objects and create or recreate in a miniature hence, the values, the details and the beauty of it is more compact and put together in harmony. It’s experience is more rich and wholesome. He talks about scale and perception. The fact of the idea what is small and what is big. Who defines scale and that too is a reality which starts from imagination.

There are many beautiful examples one of them being of a scientist working in laboratory who starts describing a periwinkle flower. The beauty of the description is in the details. the smallest of curves and finish. the play of light and the literature, language used by him. The worker doesnot even realise that he becomes a poet desribing the flower.

He says the man is a being of the world and it doesnot take him time to become the world. The miniature deploys to the dimensions of the universe. Once more, large is contained in small.

“Thus the minuscule, a narrow gate, opens up an entire World. The details of a thing can be the sign of a new world which, like all worlds, contains the attributes of greatness”.

The point that we have got accustomed to the subtlest jerk, sound or vibrations that we dont notice them anymore. He brings this out by reference to a clock and how we have have got accustomed to its “tick-tock” that we never notice it anymore.

Lakeer_based on Faiz Ahmed Faiz Poem

The entire film gave ma gist maybe of the process but I think that they are trying to bring question that is partition that easy and simple as cutting it out of paper which has a printed nation map. Does it only is the division of land physically without any consequences and effect. I think they are trying to bring forth the consequences and actions that cannot be repelled and redone. Almost like it is a one way street and hence once a paper is cut it is done. Cannot put it back together.

A border is being constructed with charcoal what seem to be a map. It essentially of India, but we are also given a hint that it then becomes border to other nations. It is a shared line between other nations. How the decision is taken to divide a physical space, what are the determinants, who gets what and is the person getting it, ever satisfied with their portion ? These questions I thought were raised when those specific dotted line were made for line of control. Control, power, greed all has come together in those dotted lines hence, an Indian map without it is incomplete.
A  sense of celebration has been created through the background. There is religious cry  that gives it a twisted sense of purpose and how  the line made on paper is giving purpose to their fight or their fight have paid off. It is almost hinting the community involved or was in favour of it.

The second part where the paper lines being cut to maybe mark the separation more prominently. It is establishing more concrete boundary almost like a wall that is about to be build. There is map in the background which is enhancing the entire situation. The scissor cutting sound is echoing and being predominant which I think is has a lot of meanings attached to it.

Paper cutting the border line between India and Pakistan in the Indian map that existed during British rule. It also indicative in some sense about the involvement of Britishers in this action. How we were divided into little pieces further and further. Division done on the basis of “different” caste, creed and religion which is assumed to be predominant to human nature. Also it is being cut with a scissor shows the casual approach  to the entire aspect of being “divided”.


Ayneh (The mirror 1997)


Director : Jafar Panhai
Starring : Mina Mohommad Khani
Cinemaatography : Farzad Jadat
Country : Iran
Language : Persian

The movie was interesting because its actually a simple story of a little girl finding her way home. As it is said “Its the journey that matter and not the destination”. Interesting people she meet and their “grown up” world and conversation. the first four way crossing is interesting because all aged people are shown crossing from old to kid in a pram. Then her reaction to phone booth.A very small space and how she has to climb to access parts of it.  Her struggle to recall names which is also hovered by noisy surroundings.It is amazing how she remembered events to its details. This also reflects how sensitive kids are to visual space. She  perceive the entire thing as snapshots and kept asking people way to her home, street, avenue etc. There is a point in the movie when the crew gets separated from her when she meets ” wayne ” I thought that part was a very interesting shot because there was a complete disengagement between the two mediums. The bus also is a very interesting space because how she gets ignored even though her presence is very  much there in audience’s mind. A child being is always been told what to do, stay away from strangers, wait for parents and then suddenly to see a child taking control. Trying to navigate and understand her city, reach to a point of recognition and go home.

Sri Sri Lanka


This Artwork though looks chaotic at the first glance is very balanced and calm. It has many elements working for it at the same time. There is a map of Sri Lanka hybrid in the ship. This has an obvious connection to its history and conflict.This we can also know by recurring imagery of flags and grill and confinement effect in it.Also there is an acute connection that it is a port country. This dockyard also seems like an important landmark during the time. Important route for trade and commerce. The painting is bright and  giving it a texture and liveliness but very toned down. It gives it a busy effect and the colours are al  balanced. This also gives an indication of travel and discover. It brings us the story of destruction and birth. There are many small ships around keeping busy and giving us insight of transactions being done. The map maybe gives us direction to the port. It has this caged texture all over it which might be indicating its seperation and freedom.

Performance Art

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
                                                                                                            -Pablo Picasso

Art is a field that touches to heart. It coneys gestures, emotions and thoughts and action. A performance art is getting human element  involved in it. It is generally to make  a statement. It has a philosophical appearance and facade.It has so many possibilities and interpretation but is done with one major intention. Its being that it is not restricted to an enclosed space. It can be done anywhere in the open to a coffee shop, on the road or terrace. It has no boundaries or restrictions.No allotted medium or space. Its very fascinating that the audience for this art also can be anyone. It can be people with artistic taste or general public, politician or a farmer. Its audience may or may not understand the meaning but are as much involved in the process of creation and adding value. It brings different perceptions and dogmas and challenges them. They are an excellent conversation starters and make people think about the subject or motive.

 “Talking about performance is such a strange thing because it’s so immaterial. We are talking about softmatter. We are talking about something that is invisible. You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. You just can feel it.”

-MARINA ABRAMOVIC, “Marina Abramovic Makes Sundance Shut Up”, Interview Magazine



One of the most renowned of its masters is Marina Abramović, who has ruled the performance art stage for over three decades, bringing newer and more innovative pieces to audiences worldwide. Noted by many as ‘the grandmother of performance art’, Marina has inspired a whole movement within this field that focuses on the conceptualisation of the human body and consciousness, and the progression of the body-as-a-text motif that has brought a wave of new performance artists to the scene. I found this engaging because of her entire set up and pose. Her direct gaze at the audience and poker face. The space is bloody and cluttered. It also strains on the message she is trying to convey and the touch that tit has been written with blood. It shouts at you and is more of a strong declaration than a casual statement.


Spaces in “Indian” Art

Gaitonde called ‘Untitled’ in 1969.

different blue shades gives the painting depth and when seen long you tend to form your own shapes and break it down. Painting has these visual divisions which may and may not exist but has 3 layers. The colours also show transformation in change in the entire mood and feel. It has a sense of serenity and calmness.

Gaitonde called ‘Untitled’ in 1962.

There is a sense of collision and focus point. A single thread linking while the rest of the canvas is left empty. The space used in canvas is also interesting because it is not dead centre but slight off. The abstraction also has movement and gives you ambiguous hints of what it is, but not the entire picture. The use of Ink and watercolour in grey scale gives it beautiful texture.

Gaitonde ‘Painting No. 4’ in 1962.

The first thing that interested me the most are the dry strokes of paint which gives it the grainy texture. Brown and faded blue looks beautiful with a little of green as background. This painting also has a focal point where the string of events happening in the centre.It almost look like an insect party. It also gives me the idea that 2 things from right and left side of the canvas are coming together to join, the dead centre is empty which indicates the activity is in process.

Zarina Hashmi



Space and Art

a2d1810925dbeddeaf1c0ecc6165bfdaTypography Art by Acassara
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type.Your choice of typeface and how you make it work with your layout, grid, colour scheme, legibility, spacing between 2 words, spacing between 2 characters makes a lot of difference. It is the technique of arranging type to make written language legible, readable, and appealing when displayed. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line-spacing (leading), letter-spacing (tracking), and adjusting the space within letters pairs (kerning).
The comparison of negative space to positive space is of prime importance. Also words need to be thought out with its proper size and thickness gives it depth and third dimension quality. In this artwork how not only its giving it depth but the words are also suggestive of the mood of the face of the man.

Hybrid Space


Galt gulch
Schools/Education institutes

After we pass a certain age parents start to have this idea of education that every child needs to receive. In this school people learn whatever they want and are interested in. An open environment where you leave kids with things to master in whatever they want and learn. An expression of individualism is lost due to the meticulous knowledge provided by age old teachers. Students lose their pursuit of knowledge hence, in this school students will have to do anything and excel in atleast one before they leave. They can take up whatever they want and make their own project under a mentor guidance. New ideas  needs to be thought about and given views and perspective. Students can experiment, make and create their choice things in the place. It is an open land where you provide everything except for a curriculum. 

Entire space will have different activities going on. Each square section will be dedicated to a particular outdoor activity and sports. One building will have the working office and different labs for research and development. Also building will have offices etc. A lot of sitting space and canteen. In the park near river anyone can come and do whatever they want. Also that space will have open review space where children can put up their work to get openly reviewed by anyone.

Senses : Incorporation of all 5 senses

What is the most prominent memory of yours? Do you remember the first day of school? The first time you ate something spicy, the first time you saw snow? All of these amazing memories that we have somehow keep coming back to us by little things. If you get a particular smell it triggers a memory of it. Our senses are these important tools that help us hold onto these nostalgic moments in the way we do.

Living in Mumbai one of the most common memories that we all shared were of the rains, whether the good part of it or the bad. We have all had memories connected to it. We chose to showcase our most prominent memory of rain i.e, every time we see rain, its the one memory we all relate too. The two things that stood out for us in respective to the good and bad were Dancing of the peacocks and the using of vipers. What we realised is both the opening of the peacock feathers and the motion of vipers are very similar. We tried to incorporate both of them and realised it represented a hand fan, added bonus we suppose. In order to merge both of it, we used vipers to create the skeleton of the fan, and tie-dyed white fabric in shades of blue, green, yellow to represent the peacock . Since we dint want it to be very literal, we decided to tie-dye the fabric.We also sketched out our most prominent memories in between the structure. Those include, bike riding, drive to manali in the middle of the night, eating butta (corn) in lonavala, maggi and tea, and marine drive. We also incorporated the smell of sandalwood to remind us of the first rains and added Raag Malhar also known as the Rain Raga (it is said that by playing the Raag Malhar, one is inviting the rains) to the fan in order to recreate sound.

IMG_5475  IMG_5470

IMG_5473  IMG_5589 IMG_5587