Ayneh, 1997

Ayneh is a 1997 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, about a girl trying to find her way home. This film concentrates on time, repetition and the visual memory of a place. In the first half of the movie, a girl is who is finding her way home from school is shown and the film takes a whole new turn when the girl, as an actor decides to stop acting for the film, but the cameras never stop rolling and the team decides to follow her, finding her way home from where they were shooting. The film Ayneh, meaning mirror shows two stories following the same storyline of a girl and her encounters. While watching the movie, our whole sense of space and time shifts between when she knew she was acting and when she knew she wasn’t. The film is talking about the film and the process of making films, that in it becomes the character of the film. The film continues even when the film within film stopped. In the film it was interesting to see how the girl’s attitude changes and how she becomes more confident in her journey when she is angry and is herself. Even though the film had stopped, the film’s storyline continued and the stories of the people around the girl kept coming in.


Spaces the paintings play with

  • Untitled 1969
  • This is a very modern contemporary style of art. The painting and the colour palette gives off a very gloomy feel to it. It has visual section created by textures.
  • Untitled, 1962
  • This painting is very distinctly divided into two sections. These sections are created by the greyish black strokes in the top section of the painting. It looks like water colour through the fluidity and the stability of the strokes at the same time. For me, Gaitonde has just tried to show a mood that is abstract and open for the viewers interpretations.
  • Painting No.4, 1962
  • This painting, also like the others, has very distinct sections that merge into one another. The black strokes in the middle are very similar to the previous painting but look more isolated but also more defined by the bright yellow and red strokes. The black space left in the middle of the canvas draws all your attention when you first look at it. The whole painting again has a very unsettling feel to it with the colour palette of dark beige, brown, greyish blue and black.



Sri Sri Lanka


Sri Sri Lanka at Tarq, was an art exhibition by a Sri Lankan solo artist, Pala Pothupitiye. Through this exhibition the artist tries to show the relationship between art and maps. With the help of print and paint, the artist has created info graphics of the nation’s history acknowledging it’s various interpretations and conflicts.

This painting is a classic example of the info graphic quality of the exhibition. The above painting shows various views of the Jaffna Fort. It is a combination of the place’s map, technical sketches of the fort, text and an illustration of Hanuman and the fort. The text and the illustrations indicate the historic beliefs and notions of the place whereas the map and sketches indicate it’s physical presence.

Performance Art


Performance art is an art that is performed live, mostly by an artist but sometimes with collaborators or performers. Performance art mostly consists of four elements: time, space, the performer’s body and a relationship between the audience and performer. It can be planned and scripted or spontaneous and random.

Gilbert and George are known for their colourful wall sized paintings and their trademark performance art of Living Sculptures. In their live performance they wander around the city streets covered in metallic make up so much that they resemble a sculture. The idea was to “collapse the distance between art and artists.” In 1970, Gilbert and George developed this further and first performed their famous Singing Sculpture, at the Nigel Greenwood Gallery. Again coated in metallic make-up, the duo stood on a table and moved in robotic movement to comedy double-act, Flannagan and Allen’s 1930’s music hall song “Underneath the Arches” – about the homeless men who slept under railway arches during the Great Depression.


Hybrid Spaces

This space is a hybrid of the door room from Alice in Wonderland and a library. This space is a long hall surrounded by doors, all locked with different combinations. Each door opens up to a different world of imaginations and possibilities. These worlds are created through different genres of the book. Each door opens up to a different genre of books. To get into these spaces a person has to crack the combinations on the locks. To crack these combinations one has to answer a set amount of questions that eventually leads the person to the password. This way it also ensures if you are worthy enough to get into that section.

Contested Spaces

One  of the most contested spaces according to me is the space of sexuality. It could be either in our minds or the minds of society as a whole. But what I would like to talk about is how we contest about our sexuality within ourselves. How do you know who you truly are? We have to figure it out. But how do you figure something like this out when you live in a society where you are scrutinized and judged based on every single move you make. I personally luckily am sure of my sexuality but saw a very close friend of mine go through this. To be put into a box where one doesn’t know what one is supposed to be and is confused but everyone around is trying to figure it out and put labels on that person. HOW can one win that contest? Where do the lines blur. Does one look at what is right or does one feel and go after that feeling. It is a constant battle with your thoughts and feelings. Those of us who have it figured out, were the lucky bunch. We do not know what this contest is like. IS there even a win? A world filled with so much judgment and expectation how does one be who he/she is openly and is the world even liberal enough and is a person even strong enough to dare figure his sexuality? I think the contest itself is the win. Because at least that means one has dared to feel and is battling to find his true sexuality and who he really is. That itself is a big win.


Contested Spaces

“A platform intended to promote debate urgent social and political questions, across conceptual and disciplinary boundaries”

So let us focus of the definition of contested spaces, the word itself suggests that it is the competitive dispute between two or more individuals with different interventions or understanding regarding the topics.

Lets take an example, The new widely interventional breakthrough of virtual reality also known as immersive multimedia, is a computer technology that replicates an environment, real or imagined, and simulates a user’s physical presence and environment to allow for user interaction. Although this is a contemporary discovery in technology as well as art stripping oneself from the real world’s sensory as well as attentive spaces could be critical. One could say they even contest the idea of using the same natural space provided to be experience more physically and replaced by virtually a more visual and auditory assertion.

Creation of immersive worlds beyond the recognition and control of the human self and its incorporation to our daily lives was rather more entertainment based until the invention of VR technology questioned boundaries and speculated the true sense of how we operate our lives. We have always been transformed into various spaces to aid the experience of entertainment and heighten it however possible, for example a movie theatre and a 3D movie experience, entails the viewer to reimagine the space the a new dimension, now imagine the same experience being brought to life with the agenda of sole everyday experience and reality. Stripped to their simplest elements, the earliest digitization consisted of little more than contested spaces, as the technology enhances the concept of creating multiple contestant space virtually as opposed to reality seem to an endless extend. How one would eventually seem to debate if these spaces are well valid as real as the physical ones, and how to declare and define their current spaces with incorporation of these new extraordinary additions, will it hold our historic, social and phycological importance to be equivalent as the digital one.

Although it is still a space in a reality, which is highly virtual soon, the existence of many essential attributes of daily being and living would be virtual too, so are we compensating our lives and presence to be counterweighed by a technology driven intricate consistency of these virtual spaces?



The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

Gaston Bachelard’s “The Poetics of Space is a phenomenological questioning of poetry and the spaces occupied within its instance. Introducing the book the author places most emphasis on the interior domestic space and the context around it. He attempts to trace the reception of the poetic image in the subjective realisation holding openness and a focus on the present experience.

He explains his utmost focus on the poetic image for it being the estate of the cleared consciousness, something, which is, unuttered of definite consciousness and more an invention of heart and soul. This direct relation of poetry to reality exaggerates the truth of perceived objects, in this instance them being the house directed further inaugurating future discussions of inside and outside familiar to anyone dealing with the theory of space.

In the final chapter, he talks about metaphysicians who state their views objectively and could be understood contrarily however he states their image to be acknowledged as it is, As Van Gogh wrote “life is probably round.” On the contrary without any knowledge of his writing La Fontaine said

“A walnut makes me quite round.” These proclamations provide indication of the context of life and the irregularity of roundness that is emphasised by all or many writers. Although no claim has evidenced to such physiological beliefs the claim helps the readers accept that we are in the roundness of life like the walnut that becomes round in its own shell.

However the scope of such poetic discussions could be argued ostentatiously and are evidently delivered throughout the chapter, for instance the image allows the thought of the sphere to be phenomenological and analyse by crystal clarity of the entire image and its experience of being spherical and not just the observation of it.

As the passage formulates he gives instances of being, regardless of the absolute image of nature Michelet says, “a bird is almost completely spherical” he uses these metaphors of nature and its isolated existence the holistic complete relativism of life. The word ‘almost’ makes a geometrician wonder the form and concentration of the bird in constant to the dynamics of the form rather than its experience and those wings being the centralisation of life around the roundness of the bird and its protection.

Similarly, for a painter the centralised view of understanding of roundness is a tree, he believes the isolation of a living object being concentrated alone makes it round. For him the tree alone in itself is round, hence to anyone observing the receptive central images of cosmic data descried differently by different poets in multiple fragments of their poem could register the same expression.

Shells – The Poetics of space

Through this chapter we see how the shell is perceived in so many different ways. The shell is so hard and so clear but most times it is difficult to understand it. After examining the shell world, imagination is defeated by reality. It is spoken of how the formation is mysterious and not the form. A quote from this chapter continues to intrigue me; “One must live to build ones house and not build ones house to live in”. What intrigues me is the continuous debate of the shell. How they are inhabited or uninhabited and how someone can live inside a shell. Can the shell be a code for all the safety and comfort zones we move into when we feel danger or the fear of the unknown? I guess philosophy leaves it all open to interpretation. How does something big come out from something so small? Why have we never thought of it before. A creature however never fully comes out from the shell. Thats what is so contradictory the part that comes out vs the part thats on the inside. Do we ever show our whole self? Is there always some part of us thats always inside a shell? However the voice in this chapter suddenly changes. It is the fear of the unknown. Is what is inside a shell scarier and more dreaded or is it something to be pitied? A quote from this essay caught my eye immediately. “Wolves in shell are crueler than stray ones” Through this essay you get to see different perspectives at the insignificant things and thats what makes it so much more interesting. It is also spoken about how the shell becomes incapable of moving when the part that gives it life leaves. What is also talked about is how snails build their house in the shell and thus wherever they are, they’re always at home. And how the shell gives a space to be withdrawn and in full and deep secret away from everything. we get to experience and perceive something so small and sometimes what seems insignificant in so many different ways.

Spaces in Indian Art

1. This abstract painting by V.S. Gaitonde seems to have been split into 3 having different shades of blue. It gives me a sense of emptiness but also vast. The black on the blue canvas gives it depth and also a little harsh. The entire canvas in blue makes me instantly draw parallels with the ocean and the black makes it seem stormy.

2. The black across the beige paper seems to move in one direction from the left to the right with the black spreading into the neigh giving the impression of a fast pacing movement. The movement in the artwork is constricts to the upper half, playing with the whole concept of negative and positive space.

3. Blue and brownish beige gives me a very somber feeling. Visually the space on the canvas is divided into two with a horizontal patch of blue in the middle extending to the width of the canvas. However the colors are very earthen giving me the feeling that this is a tribal depiction. The black, red and yellow in the blue look almost like people, making me feel like this is a scene from a tribal area.