Landscapes of construction have become common sites of encounter within everyday life in South Asian cities. Infrastructural expansions, large scale housing and institutional projects along with repairs and redevelopments seem to perpetually churn people within the flux of construction activity. On the one hand, the manouvering of construction sites plead for us to deal with blockages, dangers, risks, inconveniences and diversions thereby demanding in us a slowness to labour the growing city; and on the other hand, they infuse amazement and amusement in our everyday routine. Thus, contemporary urban life in South Asia inevitably gets produced within the poetics and politics of construction. In perpetual making, its cities allude to ruins, waiting to be completed, suspending us in an uneven field of promise and hope. Bodies and desires remain as incomplete as our built environment. Life and action intuitively begin to articulate form and intent in the tension of the finished and the unfinished.
How and what do people negotiate with and draw from constructions around them in their everyday? What new relationships get forged in living through the cumbersome, irritant, yet hopeful environments of sites under construction? How does construction aesthetic inform everyday life and thinking? How does growing up in a landscape of construction shape and feed into cultural production of a place and people? This project brings together seven artists / architects whose works draw from sites under construction, or who strategise its logic to open up new readings and relationships with the ever changing environment. In the process, they attempt to open up a discourse on the aesthetics and politics of construction.
Under Construction may offer an appropriate positioning for South Asian cities as a place of longing and hope but more so as one that invents new forms of life within the process of becoming. New vantages are extended to us in diversions and new places are formed in the crevices of inconvenience. In their journeys
of making, objects and spaces carry a multiplicity of dispositions that may hold immense possibilities of adapting and intervening into emerging urban dynamics. Construction sites offer rich metaphors in order to understand life and work as an ongoing practice. They shift our attention from products to processes, from objects to tools and from solutions to possibilities, which may allow us insights into new geometries of speculation.
Avijit Mukul Kishore
Ritesh Uttamchandani Shreyank Khemlapure