The Shifting City

Medium: Acrylic on canvas, solid markers and ink on paper

The Shifting City was an exhibition curated by Kaiwan Mehta, in collaboration with the Architecture Foundation India, and Rahul Mehrotra as project advisor.

The series below looks at the idea of an ‘arrival city’ in the specific context of the western suburban neighbourhoods between Goregaon to Bandra – which see high occupancy by migrants in the film, entertainment and IT industries – for varied reasons from relatively low residential rents and proximity to film and sound studios to increasing number of IT parks and call center offices in recent years. A consequence of all of these factors is also an increase in the number of malls, cafes, co-working and other alternative cultural spaces. The works resulted from an observation of how people manoeuvre through these spaces and their daily interactions. Do they offer a community or a refuge from urban loneliness? Or like the curator Kaiwan Mehta asks ‘Are malls the new public spaces?’

Install photos by: Anil Rane
Photo courtesy: Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai

Scroll down for text from the curator, Kaiwan Mehta

Text by curator, Kaiwan Mehta:

The city of Mumbai is a place that marks your arrival — a destination in a continuum — hopes of ‘making it’ within the larger cycle of economic and social well-being. To have come to the city and begin living here, as part of its machinery of material and financial exchanges, one has the notion of having entered a world system of objects and spaces. There is a clear corporeal and urban production of this ARRIVED sense — shaping the idea of city-living, and geographies of experience and encounter. These geographies of ‘arrival’ are established through a range of particular spatial narratives: spaces and behaviours of utilisation and occupation, being and becoming; and architecture emerges as the key site of this action and arrival.

The Mumbai Pavilion includes new works specially developed for the exhibition by artist Sameer Kulavoor, writer and journalist Rachel Lopez, photographer and journalist Ritesh Uttamchandani. It also incorporates existing works from artist Sudhir Patwardhan, photographers Pallon Daruwala and Peter Bialobrzeski. The pavilion also showcases extracts from research projects and books Extreme Urbanism IV: Looking at Hyper Density – Dongri, Mumbai (Graduate School of Design, Harvard University) and State of Housing: Aspirations, Imaginaries, and Realities in India (UDRI and AF).

The exhibition is a part of the project called Making Heimat. Germany, Arrival Country, which was the main theme of the German Pavilion presented at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition 2016 – La Biennale di Venezia. The touring version of the exhibition titled Arrival City was produced by the Goethe-Institut, in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, and the German Museum for Architecture (Deutsches Architekturmuseum, DAM). The exhibition will tour eight cities globally, the Mumbai version called ‘The Shifting City’ is produced by Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan Mumbai.


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