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Seher Shah

When is space? intends to investigate the contemporary modes and methods of architecture and space making practices in India. An architecture exhibition at the Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) in Jaipur compels a conversation with the powerful spatiality of JKK moulded by Charles Correa whose imagination was in turn informed by Sawai Jai Singh’s City of Jaipur. The generative threads of contemporary space making practices are implicit in the works of both – Jai Singh as well as Correa – although separated by three centuries. Through provocations that emerge from ideas of these figures, the present exhibition invites artists/architects to respond not only through a display of their works, but also through a spatial intervention within JKK, at once folding in object and space together.

“Space” 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. Several different constituents from these scales come together to configure our lived experience of this space. However, the same constituents, when put together at another time may not produce the same experience. What then, does it take for space to happen? When is space? positions this inquiry at the centre of this exhibition by bringing together multiple and diverse responses conceived as one large project. The “when” here also signifies the pursuit of a prolonged quest of the invited artists/architects, where individual projects become significant moments in space and time.

When is space? is proposed as three conversations continuing from the works of Jai Singh and Correa. The provocations are: Mathematics of the Universe, Typologies of Life and Living and Forms of the Collective.

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