Since its inauguration in 1993, the Jawahar Kala Kendra has been one of the most significant buildings for architects around the country. In many ways, it embodies some of the most important ideas of Charles Correa through its open to sky spaces, its public orientation and its humane scale. The building is important to the city of Jaipur as a foremost effort that folds history and modern efforts together to create a public space par excellence. An exhibition on architecture has been waiting to take place at the JKK.

I am delighted to present this exhibition titled ‘When is Space?’ curated and designed by Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty. This project has a conceptual ambition of tying together the visions of Sawai Jaisingh, the ideas of Charles Correa and the practices of contemporary architects and artists. The exhibition is being put together as a set of provocations from the works of Charles Correa and the city of Jaipur with responses from 27 participants including architects, artists, designers, photographers and social scientists. The Sawai Mansingh II Museum of Jaipur has also graciously agreed to lend some of the archival material for the exhibition. Along with these, two schools of architecture - Aayojan School in Jaipur and JJ College in Mumbai are also involved.

It is for the first time that an architecture exhibition of this format is being shown at JKK where architects and artists are involved in actively engaging with its spaces. It is an exhibition on the explorations of space. We hope this sets the tone for many more artistic journeys, where various disciplines come together to prise open new terrains of thinking about and making architecture.

Pooja Sood
Director General, Jawahar Kala Kendra

© Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur

When is Space?

‘When is Space?’ discusses contemporary architecture and space-making practices in India. The historic city of Jaipur established by the astronomer-king Sawai Jai

Singh and the Jawahar Kala Kendra, one of the most significant buildings of Charles Correa, provide an apt context for this exhibition. A large part of contemporary space-making practices appears to be structured around three imperatives: first, computational and mathematical logics aided through a variety of devices including digital media; second, environmental and cultural responsiveness that manifests as new building typologies; and third, concerns regarding city and public that produce urbanistic practices of research and advocacy. These imperatives were also central to the pursuits of Jai Singh and Charles Correa. The obsessions with the astronomical mathematics; the desire to reinvent building types, and the aspiration to create a just and sustainable city are dominant in the ambitions of both individuals. The exhibition has a conceptual ambition of tying together the visions of Sawai Jai Singh, the ideas of Charles Correa and the concerns of contemporary space-making practices. Towards this, three provocations are articulated:

Mathematics of the Universe: The notion of boundary is crucial to thinking about space. However, this very idea of boundary limits our imagination of the universe. It is probably in the fractals, multiples and geometry as much as the errors, glitches and slippages that the experience and form of the universe can be conceptualised. What happens when this mathematical logic is mobilised to (re)invent form and space – does it provide a hint to the logic of the universe?

Typologies of Life and Living: Different forms of life-forces – work, leisure, craft, religion, celebration, governance, etc. constantly co-produce each other. Over time patterns develop in them which can be identified as typologies. While typologies consolidate culture, they may stagnate life in set moulds. What happens when built- form typologies are interrogated and transformed – what new forms of living get produced?

Forms of the Collective: Imaginations of collective life manifest themselves as cities. Here, specific urban forms emerge, that complement as well as reproduce the collective. As the collective is a complex entity that is composed of a variety of practices and desires – the urban forms they inhabit are usually contested. Can there be an urban form that can afford the multiplicity of the collective – what are the enabling infrastructures and new logics for exploration of life, hope and enterprise?

‘When is Space?’ includes the works of architects, artists, designers, urbanists, architecture colleges and museums, who were invited to respond to the above provocations through spatial interventions within JKK. ‘Space’ here encompasses multi-scalar notions to include the space of the universe, social space, landscapes and microenvironments. How do we begin to understand space? What does it take for space to happen? This exhibition puts together a series of explorations in making space – by mobilizing claims, constructing narratives, recalibrating boundaries, responding to contexts of economy and ecology and interrogating conventional processes. How can different disciplines productively engage in the pursuit of

space making? What are the new vectors for practice and discourse of space? With an affective landscape of spatial interrogations, Jawahar Kala Kendra is imagined as a laboratory for experiments that shall not only locate the present concerns of contemporary architecture, but also trace its future trajectories.

Rupali Gupte & Prasad Shetty

The Floating Roof, by The Urban Project
The Floating Roof, by The Urban Project: The Floating Roof is a spatial organism blurring the distinctions between land, sky, the built and the unbuilt. It never touches the land or the sky, but restlessly mediates in between. It hopes to bring alive the fears and joys of its inhabitants. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
The Malleability of All Things Solid Note Book Series, by M. Pravat
The Malleability of All Things Solid Note Book Series, by M. Pravat: Lives are shaped by the built environments that we inhabit. And as much as humans occupy architectural spaces, architecture also occupies a unique place in human sensibilities. Images and materials are central to the idea of space and form. This work explores the reconfiguring of images and materials towards imagining newer ideas of space. The Space of Architecture is a project that delves into architect’s notebooks, elevations, plans, blueprints, and collages. Architects and planners depend excessively on drawings to conceptualise space. This work mimics the process of drawing. In many ways, the work interrogates the process of producing architecture through reprocessing the drawings. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Five Gardens, by Samir Raut
Five Gardens, by Samir Raut: ‘Five Gardens’ emerges from studies of several house plans. Material here is explored for both structure and detail. The pavilion / house reveals itself to the surrounding landscape, flora and fauna in novel assemblies. The project intimately plays with economy of material, pleasure of craft and lightness of structure. While the pavilion seamlessly connects the outside with the inside, it lends itself to create personalised spaces within itself. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Nav / Laya – A Confluence, by Abin Design Studio
Nav / Laya – A Confluence, by Abin Design Studio: Nav/laya is a juxtaposition of the works of Abin Design Studio with the Navagraha mandala - origin of Jaipur’s city plan and basis for Correa’s Jawahar Kala Kendra. While ‘nav’ represents the absolute (nine), ‘laya’ is both dissolution and merging, morphing in its meaning with context. The installation is aligned with the twist that Correa uses to mimic the deviation in Jaipur’s plan. In the pavilion, people inhabit the space in-between the stable grid of pathways and the transforming canopies. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
A Wall as a Room, by Samira Rathod Design Atelier
A Wall as a Room, by Samira Rathod Design Atelier: This installation redefines the utilitarian purpose of the wall as a separator of space to be the container of space itself. One may find across architectural history how walls have been used as spaces of hiding, service and shelter. The palaces of Jaipur work out a unique architecture of the skin that leave large open spaces bounded within thin wall buildings that can be occupied. In several urban areas today, walls have become infrastructures and extensions for homes and temporal entrepreneurship. Learning from many such examples, the installation attempts to rethink the architectural element of the wall not as a separator, but something that brings people together. The ‘Wall as a Room’ is an experiment in anthropometric norms, material, and spatial experience of one’s habitat. It provokes us to think of inhabiting the boundary between the inside and the outside; private and public; the individual and the other. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Antarhit, by Vishal K. Dar
Antarhit, by Vishal K. Dar: Here the architecture of SuryaKund / Madhyavarti at Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) is seen as an altar. ANTARHIT becomes an extension to fire/sun worship - a sense of sacred through visual liturgy where the animated light beams endlessly create mandalas in three dimensions. This visually sonic liturgical act is a tension between the form that is expressed and the indistinctness from which it arises. Eight light beams refer at once eight directions, eight sections of the day, 8 houses/planets that surround the suryakund at the JKK. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
A Story of Cubes, by Teja Gavankar
A Story of Cubes, by Teja Gavankar: Madhyavarti, the central empty space of Jawahar Kala Kendra is one of the most impactful spaces in the building. Its scale and calmness makes one pause. It is an empty, bounded space overlooking the sky with a grid of stone tiles cladded along its walled enclosure. The project teases the orderly chequered space by subtly folding its planes that cast new shadows as they appear to warp the neat geometry of the court. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Pavilion for Incremental Form, by Anthill Design
Pavilion for Incremental Form, by Anthill Design: This pavilion was designed as a house which could grow slowly. The main design challenge was to make a structural system that allowed vertical growth. The parameters for the incremental growth of the building are not clear at the outset and only become apparent over its future life. A matrix of possible permutations of growth were imagined in the design of the structure. We hypothesize one such possible permutation in the ‘afterlife’ of the building as it stands now. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Drawing in Space, by Parul Gupta
Drawing in Space, by Parul Gupta: ‘Drawing in Space’ is a project based on the spatial narratives and questions of perception. This spatial exploration could be poised somewhere between installation and abstract line drawing. The work is a response to clear architectural forms/spaces and their illusionary character. It aims at creating a spatial experience of forms and volumes created merely by lines. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
An Indivisible Margin of Error, by Dhruv Jani
An Indivisible Margin of Error, by Dhruv Jani: In 1832 Professor James P Fielding wrote a story about two itinerant travellers, who claimed to have stumbled upon the ninth observatory of Matsyapur. This was a remarkable claim, because it hankered back to a fabled gathering of astronomers at Matsyapur. A gathering whose purpose was to deliberate on the cause of an inscrutable error that had plagued the celestial observations. In their search for this error they decided to interrogate the universe by constructing nine observatories, each to a different scale and each adorned with instruments of cosmic inquiry. The unwavering quantum they searched for was to be called: truti. A measure, so minute that they believed it to be a building block of the universe itself. Five of the nine observatories were hidden amidst the yantras of Maharaja Jai Singh’s creations, three others were plundered and now lie in decay. Only one remained unrecorded, the ninth and the most spectacular of all. It is this observatory that the two travelers told Fielding about. It is this observatory that we seek to recreate, in a series of interactive vignettes played across scales of endless repetition. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
5/8, by Mark Prime
5/8, by Mark Prime: 5/8 seeks to critique the conformity found in contemporary architectural practices where structures incorporate multiple grids, panels, and reflective surfaces. Here, distracting surfaces mask the dull reality and mediocrity of a concrete sub-structure. The buildings seem to whisper: “We seek to obstruct, deny and turn away.” This is particularly true of building practices involved in the gentrification of often neglected structures in socially deprived areas: think of the quick, and cheap, grid cladding that has been blamed for devastating tower block fires around the world. The logic behind these embellishments seem to be that it is better to see our reflection, not what’s underneath; only looking out, never looking in. It is time for some cold, hard, reflection on the cities we build and the lives they make us live - sometimes, also, the deaths they make us die. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Elevator from the Subcontinent, by Gigi Scaria
Elevator from the Subcontinent, by Gigi Scaria: The urban and the rural, class and caste, religion and practice and the endless list of eccentric and idiosyncratic exchanges of different social groups shape any urban space in India. For us ‘modernity’ is a big claim, which has to be contextualized at every stage. On the other hand, an economically booming India stands with millions of middle classes on its side, which constantly erases and redraws the map of India with new set of tools and calculations. The repercussions and resonances of these new voices has also been woven into the urban fabric with variety of architectural and cultural forms. Many of these observations have been a catalyst for the making of the Elevator from the Subcontinent. The elevator travels through different levels, each one displaying different living spaces. These living spaces can be identified as different stratas and hierarchies of society. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Garden of Desire, by M/S Prabhakar B. Bhagwat
Garden of Desire, by M/S Prabhakar B. Bhagwat: Is Astika a saint or is it about a believer? Does Shesha hold the cosmos and keep afloat the Gods? Does the genesis of creation lie in that which is disposed and destroyed? Is spacemaking an intuitive act of refuge embellished by the cosmic? Is the protector of the soul greater than the one who creates it? Buried in this ground here were the refugees of many acts; now resurrected. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Mammoth, Flatlans, Hewn, by Seher Shah and Randhir Singh
Mammoth, Flatlans, Hewn, by Seher Shah and Randhir Singh: MAMMOTH: Aerial landscape proposals are a collaboration between the photographer Randhir Singh and artist Seher Shah. The aerial photographs, taken while flying over United States, are combined with black forms that partially block out the image of the landscape. The works are about simultaneous gesture of erasure and construction, creating ambiguously scaled structures that respond to the repetitive patterns inherent in urban planning and architecture. FLATLANDS: Flatlands drawing series (is a deployment of) repetitive minimalist lines to demarcate ground, against which architectural forms emerge. The multiple horizontal lines are bracketed by isometric volumes and scored with an intermittent mark-making composed of small vertical arcs and lines. These volumes and marks striate the picture plane, producing a layered and complex visual puzzle, in which space dilates and contracts dimensionally between the ground and perspectival space.’ (Iftikhar Dadi, 2017). HEWN: Hewn is a series of woodcuts where shapes and volumes feel both ancient and modern, transcending time and history while still bearing their considerable weight. Stylized but symbolic, they suggest an archaic language or a set of prehistoric metalworking tools. Dense anvil-like forms are scoured with indentations, grooves, and cutaways. (Murtaza Vali, 2016). © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Crematorium at Coimbatore, by MANCINI
Crematorium at Coimbatore, by MANCINI: Bearing in mind the richness and diversity of rituals and beliefs, the design is meant to provide a calm environment for each family to perform their rituals. The building is a humble and spacious setting using simple natural materials in well-crafted details to provide not only durability but also a serene and dignified atmosphere inspired by the traditional open ground, river bank and pavilion setting. Two Large pavilions provide space for the last rites to be performed, often in attendance of a large number of mourners. The ritual pavilions in a river bed like garden setting provide space for the rituals on the day subsequent to the cremation. Families reach this garden through a smaller portal, collect the ashes at a counter in the administrative building and then proceed to the smaller pavilions for rituals. The project is an effort to dignify public purpose places that are otherwise put together through a default mode of building. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Pavilions - Caves, Boundaries and the In Between, by Architecture BRIO
Pavilions - Caves, Boundaries and the In Between, by Architecture BRIO: The work interrogates how landscape is transformed by intrusions or markings, while architecture itself gives way to landscape. The emergent forms give rise to novel typologies – on one hand as a cavernous building, on the other as a seemingly estranged object. Instead of functional programmatic considerations, the figure-ground drawings emphasise universal experiential qualities at the same time magnifying specific immediate characteristics of the context. The installation is a three dimensional “Nolli” object that straddles between a volumetric abstraction of space and its relation to both geography and experiential sequencing. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Twisted Folds, by RAQS Media Collective
Twisted Folds, by RAQS Media Collective: “If you twist and fold a ribbon of space, what was inside a moment ago could end up as the outside. When a surface cracks, the crack is the surface. The outside is as much within something as without”. (Capital of Accumulation, Raqs Media Collective, 2010). To look within is to turn oneself inside out. This twisted fold is the basis of all thought, and of every experience or sensation. Twisted Fold is the auto-didactic log of a continuing journey undertaken in order to understand the flux of relationships between space, time, selves and other that Raqs takes on board as part of its daily practice. Taken together, these turns enact a provisional response to the question - ‘When is Space?’ which undergirds this exhibition. Space happens when thought twists and time folds. Twisted Fold takes the form of series of notes, observations, questions, drawings, speculations and aphorisms taken from the triangulated consciousness and collective unconscious of Raqs. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Artrovert: Conversations in Grey, by Anagram Architects
Artrovert: Conversations in Grey, by Anagram Architects: Artrovert is built as a house for an artist in Kaladham (Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh). It is envisioned not as an extroverted studio, where the creation of art and the living of the artist are shared with her precinct. Acutely aware of Kaladham’s location at the urban edge, she hopes such an outward expression and blurring of territory would lay the seeds for spatial “conversations” with a growing community. Spaces are created as unravelling rather than as a construction, revealing as much as concealing. Two materially contrasting yet filial bands loop and coil forming various spaces at multiple levels. These are book-ended by an armature that works as gallery, working scaffolding and circulation space providing vantages, both inside and out, from different heights. Artrovert hopes to offer multiple views of multiple spaces and changing perspectives of changing times. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Folly House, by The Busride Design Studio
Folly House, by The Busride Design Studio: The Folly House was a response to a very odd brief: Make Mistakes. Every functionality of the home was compacted into multifunctional, mobile objects. The remaining space was left untouched, activated only when these objects unfolded, rotated or pivoted open. The living room consisted of two such objects, a multi-functional carved wooden topography and a fold-out wooden cube. The overall experience of the house transformed from ‘living in rooms’ to ‘living amongst objects’. Since the nature of each object is different, the house remains unpredictable and new relationships between everyday home objects are constantly discovered. Chance and unpredictability create follies. Follies are objects in a garden of no particular purpose. Follies are also mistakes. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Restoration of Sethna Building, by Vikas Dilawari
Restoration of Sethna Building, by Vikas Dilawari: The largely dilapidated older housing stock in Mumbai has created a crisis. The government has responded with a policy of redeveloping this housing stock into skyscrapers. However, these skyscrapers have produced disruptions in the existing fabric by not only pushing out old dwellers, but also burdening the infrastructure. By working out repair and restoration of an old housing complex, this project provides a viable option to rethink the questions around old housing stock across the country. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
CPWD, by Randhir Singh
CPWD, by Randhir Singh: The Public Works Department, established in 1854 during the British Raj was the main developer of large-scale public works in India. When the capital of the Raj changed from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911, the PWD took up the role of building the new capital including housing. The designers behind this housing drew from the early modern thinking. After independence, these ideas played a critical role in defining modern India as a technology based society free of class and caste divisions. Post-independence, the rechristened Central Public Works Department continued to promote the modernist ideal with numerous housing projects, employing a battery of highly educated Indian architects. The housing projects were tested in Delhi and then exported around the country forming a ubiquitous part of India’s urban fabric. Today, many of these projects are being redeveloped. Around Delhi, entire neighborhoods are demolished and replaced with high-rise apartment buildings and commercial complexes. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
The Toilet Manifesto, by Mad(e) in Mumbai
The Toilet Manifesto, by Mad(e) in Mumbai: ‘The Toilet Manifesto’ dreams about future of public sanitation infrastructures in our cities and villages. It explores possibilities of transforming utilitarian engineering systems into holistic public spaces integrated with everyday lives of people. It presents possibilities where ten types of public toilet typologies are transformed into sustainable and sensitive public buildings. The mundane and routine activities are integrated to dignify the everyday. The Manifesto also works out details of technology, finance and operations for each of these imaginations hinting at their feasibility. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Urban Porosities, by Prasad Khanolkar
Urban Porosities, by Prasad Khanolkar: The installation comprises of two incomplete maps of an imaginary city called Toba Tek Nagar. The work is inspired by Sadat Hasan Manto’s short story “Toba Tek Singh” (1955), about a lunatic’s refusal to choose between two newly partitioned territories and his desire for movement, which is possible only in the no man’s land that belongs to no one. The two maps are a montage—a constellation assembled using still images, videos, drawings, and cut-outs of google maps, which were gathered while moving through five Indian cities: Guwahati, Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, and Jaipur. These different elements have been assembled here to imagine a porous city—a city that doesn’t divide, rather affords the interpenetration of different spatiotemporal elements in order to create new and unforeseen urban constellations. Toba Tek Nagar is a city of constant twilight—both night and day, sleep and awakening, and progress and dilapidation. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Making Ground Opening Skies, by Mathew & Ghosh
Making Ground Opening Skies, by Mathew & Ghosh: The project is about the unbuilt and connecting spaces. These spaces have no name. Though these are useless in efficiency, they are the places that people remember, use and enjoy. Considered as voids these are fascinating places in the sun and the moon that connect the ground to the sky and put humans in alignment with the two and in engagement with each other. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Squaring the Circle, by Sameep Padora + Associates
Squaring the Circle, by Sameep Padora + Associates: The geometries-mathematics thread seems contiguous in many of Charles Correa’s projects ranging from JKK’s stringent articulations of the 9 square grid or its sectional turn in Kanchenjunga around the central core. One cannot overstate Correa’s ability to reason these geometric possibilities in 3 dimensions. The installation articulates his subliminal abilities in geometry through current mathematical and computational possibilities. Within the gallery the geometry of a square on the floor is lofted to the circular roof of the space. The form further extends outwards as portals from the adjoining landscape along two axes accessing the installation. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
#Roar #Tools #Infrastructure, by Bhagwati Prasad
#Roar #Tools #Infrastructure, by Bhagwati Prasad: The inequity, absurdities, exaggerations, silences, and wear & tear of infrastructure are ubiquitous. These are fluctuations, and they are put to work and made usable by the ingenuity of millions. That’s what makes for stories of micro-lives of tools. They keep things going. This work sees this collision and expresses its roar. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Portfolios of Jaipur, by Anuj Daga
Portfolios of Jaipur, by Anuj Daga: This project puts together the practices of visualizing and understanding space through the act of drawing over the last three centuries in India. By juxtaposing strategic representations from the 18th, 19th and 20th century, one aims to interrogate the shifts in conception of architecture and space. What potentials lay in the modes of these distinct drawing techniques of indigenous Rajputs, British colonialists, and contemporary architects in India? How have they come to calibrate our everyday environment and living, both – in reality and imagination? The portfolios gathered here posit the viewer to wonder how space gets constituted within representational forms, and how they subsequently come to re-inscribe us within their folds. © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur
Spatial Puzzles, by Milind Mahale
Spatial Puzzles, by Milind Mahale: Spatial and typological inventiveness is one of the most important characteristics of Correa’s built as well as unbuilt works. The playful reformulations presented here invite viewers to explore the width of ideas hidden in several of Correa’s projects. Nine such ideas are articulated here in the form of puzzles: Inside-outside Continuum, Upstairs-downstairs vertical Continuum, Building-Painting Continuum, Incremental and geometric progression, Empty Centre, Making of new ground, Multiplying / humanising possibilities of infrastructure, Making a grid into a labyrinth and Multiplication / replication of same elements to create new experience. The Spatial Puzzles are developed as provocations and are based on many of Charles Correa’s buildings - Tube House, Artist Village, Hindustan Pavilion, Jawahar Kala Kendra, Gandhi Ashram, Bharat Bhavan, Kanchenjunga, Kala Academy and City Centre Mall. Puzzle 1: Making a Grid into a Labyrinth Puzzle 2: Space-Painting Continuum Puzzle 3: New Ground Puzzle 4: Inside-Outside Continuum Puzzle 5: Empty Centre Puzzle 6: Upstairs-Downstairs Continuum Puzzle 7: Geometric Progression for Incrementality Puzzle 8: Repetition & Multiplication of same elements for new experiences Puzzle 9: Humanizing / Multiplying possibilities of infrastructure © Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur

“To invent a new future and to rediscover the past is one gesture.”

Maharaja Jaisingh (1687 - 1743)
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)
reinstated by Charles Correa (1930 - 2015)

This compilation invigorates the above epigram that greets the viewer at the Jawahar Kala Kendra before an(y) exhibition begins. In a manner of underlining this subtle provocation, the work summaries of participants here are juxtaposed with a historical reading of Jaipur as well as writings of Correa. Such an intervention produces new readings of the installations and opens up another spatial dimension of JKK.