‘When is space?’ Contemporary architecture Exhibition Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty India

January 19, 2018 by Laura Gomez


‘When is space?’ intends to discuss the contemporary architecture and space making practices in India.

Space here refers to the multi-scalar dimensions at which one thinks of architecture, from the idea of the universe, to collective institutional forms to the micro environments created around
the self. The exhibition intends to ask the first question: ‘When is space?’ What does it take for space to happen? It hopes to put together a series of explorations in making space – by mobilizing claims, by constructing narratives, by recalibrating boundaries, by responding to contexts of economy and ecology and by interrogating the conventional processes that have produced space.

Located within the poignant spatiality of Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) in Jaipur, the exhibition intends to converse with the ideas of Sawai Jai Singh and Charles Correa that produced the city of Jaipur and JKK. Through provocations that emerge from the ideas of these key figures, the exhibition invites thirty artists/architects who shall not only display their works, but also respond through a spatial intervention within JKK, at once folding in object and space.

A large part of the contemporary space making practices appear to be structured around three broad imperatives: first, computational and mathematical logics that are aided through a variety of devices including digital media; second, experiments in response to issues of building-type, craft and environment; and third, concerns regarding city and public that produce urbanistic practices of research and advocacy. In many ways, these three imperatives were also centrally evident within the pursuits of Jai Singh as well as Charles Correa. Their practice offers thus, a framework through which contemporary architectural production in India may be understood and analysed.

When is space? recognizes the expanded field of architecture and aims to generate critical commentaries on contemporary space making. It brings together a wide gamut of participants, including architects, artists, designers, researchers, urbanists, philosophers, architecture colleges and museums. How can different disciplines come together and productively engage in the pursuit of space making? What are the new vectors within which the practice as well as discourse of space can be conducted? This exhibition creates an effective landscape of new inquiries and invites a new spatial interrogation of its historical referents. Jawahar Kala Kendra is seen as a laboratory for an experiment that shall not only locate the present concerns of contemporary architecture, but also help trace its future trajectories.

The exhibition is curated by Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty and includes the works of Abin Design Studio, Anagram Architects, Anthill Design, Anuj Daga, Architecture Brio, Aayojan School of Architecture, Bhagwati Prasad, Dhruv Jani, Dronah, Gigi Scaria, Sir JJ College of Architecture & Mustansir Dalvi, Mad(e) in Mumbai, M. Pravat, Mancini, Mark Prime, Milind Mahale, Mathew &Ghosh, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Parul Gupta, M/s Prabhakar Bhagwat Studio, Prasad Khanolkar, Randhir Singh, Raqs Media Collective, Sameep Padora + Associates, Samir Raut, Samira Rathod Design Atelier, Seher Shah, Teja Gavankar, The Busride Design Studio, The Urban Project, Vikas Dilawari, Vishal K Dar.

The Curatorial Team includes: Anuj Daga (Assistant Curator), Milind Mahale (Product Designer), Dipti Bhaindarkar, Dhruv Chavan, Kaushal Vadake with support from School of Environment and Architecture.

Curators : Rupali Gupte, Prasad Shetty
Assistant Curator : Anuj Daga
Product Designer : Milind Mahale
Logistics : Dipti Bhaindarkar
Architect Interns : Dhruv Chavan, Kaushal Vadake
Institutional Support : School of Environment & Architecture, Mumbai


Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty, Mumbai

Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty are architects, artists and urbanists based in Mumbai. Their conceptual journey has moved from an urge of mapping cities and developing corrective interventions, to looking closely at urban conditions, formulating newer ways to speak about them, and developing engagements to live and find delight in them. Their work often crosses disciplinary boundaries and takes different forms – writings, drawings, mixed-media works, storytelling, teaching, conversations, walks and spatial interventions. They have a wide range of publications and have worked, taught and lectured across the world. Some of their joint works include Multifarious Nows (2007) shown at Manifesta 7 at Bolzano, a multi-media map of the textile mill lands in Bombay and Studies of Housing Types in Mumbai (2007) produced for the Urban Age initiative of London School of Economics, a compilation of twenty-one housing typologies in Bombay with narratives on the contexts of their production, Being Nicely Messy (2012) a proposition for the future of Urban Mobility shown in Istanbul for the Audi Urban Future Initiatives, Gurgaon Glossaries (2013) a methodology to read cities, shown at Sarai 09 Delhi, Mumbai Art Room and the Sao Paolo Architecture Biennale and Transactional Objects (2015) an installation that is both – a way of reading cities and a projection, shown at the 56

the Venice Art Biennale, R and R a library and community centre built in a rehabilitation colony in Mankhurd (2016), Spatial design for the Shanghai Biennale (2016) and Systems and Madness, an installation at the Seoul Biennale (2017) amongst other works.

Jawahar Kala Kendra:
Jawahar Kala Kendra (popularly known as JKK), is a non profit arts and culture centre in Jaipur, which endeavours to preserve and promote the various genres of Indian art and culture on an international level. The centre embodies both the visual and cultural heritage of Jaipur, and was designed in 1991 by renowned Indian architect of international acclaim, Charles Correa. The architecture of JKK is based on the concept of Indian astrology and resembles the square-grid plan of Jaipur city. JKK’s enormous and uniquely structured building is home to an ethnographic museum, exhibition galleries, an open air theatre, arena, library and coffee house.

Ever since its inception, the art and culture hub of JKK has committed to promote multiple types of art. It provides a platform that connects visitors, scholars and art enthusiasts with artists and artisans through a rich programme of exhibitions, music and theatre productions that encompass the culture, history and way of life prevalent in Rajasthan and India. In the last year alone, JKK has been instrumental in bringing high quality performing art and literary programmes to the Pink City, with ‘Navras’ (a week long performing arts festival), ‘Bookaroo’ (Children’s Literature Festival), ‘Raag’ (an all night classical musical event) and ‘Thirak’ (Classical Dance Festival) being some of the major highlights. The arena of visual arts at JKK witnessed a breakthrough earlier last year with the reopening of the Museum Galleries which constitute the erstwhile Museum Alankar and the three art galleries which had been under renovation. Refurbished with concrete flooring, state of the art lighting systems and walls, the Museum Galleries not only provide a space of thematically curated exhibitions to enrich the cultural landscape of Jaipur but also give the visitors a dynamic experience.