Screenshots from the movie Mein Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, which takes place in a fantasy location called SundarNagar, which literally means beautiful-place. Bollywood directors frequently use scenes from Switzerland, Scotland and Mauritius to represent an elsewhere or ideal India.
One line from this article grabbed me: "It is impossible to grasp the city, one can only take a fragment of it." [Image Source] | Circle of Confusion by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige | Photographic installation | Mirror, colour digital prints (3,000 pieces), ink inscriptions.
The work resonates with the aim of my project, as it seeks to represent the city of Beirut: how it's various and poorly documented conflicts have cut it into pieces, making it impossible to make a "true" picture of it, inviting the user to destroy the city by taking pieces off the board and scattering them, revealing a layer beneath. One of the questions brought up in the article is: "How does the viewer’s participation in this work, by removing and taking possession of a fragment of the city of Beirut, add to the meaning of Circle of Confusion?"
Similarly I can attempt to create a question for my work: How does the viewer's participation in this work, by revealing the hidden city of Mumbai in the viewer's shadows, add to the meaning of Mumbai+Bombay?
There are a lot of old Tamil and French houses in Pondicherry. Some of the houses have an interesting fusion of Tamil and french architecture. For example, one house I had lived in for about two weeks when I first landed up in Pondy has a ground floor in Tamil style, with a large central courtyard et al, and the first floor in French style with a ballroom to entertain French guests. It was owned by an Indian beurocrat in the days when Pondy was a French Colony. A lot of these houses are in the prime areas right next to the beach. They are taken up and redone as guesthouses and cafe's and restaurants, and they flourish because of all the tourists coming in, or at least, I think they flourish. Anyway, this is a photograph of one such place. This beautiful house has been bought up by a kitchen company!
It was weird, we were walking by and from the outside, we thought it was probably a cafe so we walked in. Instead, its been converted into a store to sell kitchen appliances. It was strange and uncomfortable for some reason, the mismatch between the old house and the commercial kitchen company.
Detail: A beautiful door knob at the entrance -