The settlement

"The Settlement"  was created during a residency in Rajasthan, in a city that looks like a ghost town. The multicolored houses contrast with the deserted streets, the closed doors and windows. 

They belong to members of the Bohra community, who came from Yemen, and now moved back to the Middle East for economic reasons.


A traditional cart is covered with sand and marble cubes painted in the colours and patterns of local architecture.

Moved through the deserted streets, it slowly attracts children and curious adults and quickly turns into a playful construction site. 

 

At each new station, the participants collectively contribute to the development of a settlement.  The inexorable collapse of wobbly constructions causes displacement to another place, and so on, metaphorically illustrating migratory movements and the thwarted but endlessly renewed desire to take root somewhere.


I rehearsed the performance in Mumbai, on the platform of one of the busiest train stations in the world. With each arrival of a train, thousands of people surge to continue their route. Some, however, have stopped, and started to build: around a simple rectangle of sand, a businessman is striving for the highest tower  while a homeless man seems hypnotised by the colorful combinations of his imaginary house. 
The value of this intervention lies as much for me in the sculpture formed by the cart and the cubes as in its capacity to gather singular stories around a simple space to form a collective story.

The settlement
The settlement

Performance Installation during Sandarbh residency - Jan 2014/ in Partapur, Rajasthan, India. Marble cubes are painted to imitate the patterns of local architecture, and placed on a handcart. Handcart, Marble Cubes, Sand

The settlement
The settlement

The public is invited to build their dream house, interact, discuss. The cart becomes a playground, and a construction site

The settlement
The settlement

Towers, temples, houses, are built, until they collapse. The cart moves from place to place to find new sites, and invite new people.

The settlement
The settlement

The village looks like a ghost village. The Bohra community living there, originally from Yemen, has moved to the Middle East. The cart recreates the migration movements of the community, and their attempt to settle in a welcoming country.

The settlement
The settlement

Aerial view of a construction site.

The settlement
The settlement

The constructions merge with the local architecture and landscape

The Settlement.
The Settlement.

Photography collage. Prints, 2 Acrylic sheets. 83 x 130 cm Edition 6

The Settlement
The Settlement

Photography collage. Prints, 2 Acrylic sheets. 83 x 130 cm Edition 6

The settlement. Part 2
The settlement. Part 2

En counters _Spaces in transition, Mumbai Public art festival by Art O2, Feb 2015 The cart stands at Victoria Station in Mumbai, one of the busiest station in the world.

The settlement
The settlement

Biggest tower contest

The settlement. Part 2
The settlement. Part 2

En counters _Spaces in transition, Public art festival by Art O2, Feb 2015 The cart becomes the illustration of the difficulties to build a home in a developing city like Mumbai.

The Settlement/ Final
The Settlement/ Final

Studio X- Mumbai feb 2015 View of the Installation Handcart - Marble cubes- Sand Video Photography collages

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