Grids in a Garden leads an in inquiry into the contested realities of Chandigarh. Having grown up in the iconic city for 21 years I have had a first hand experience of the overbearing presence of Le Corbusier's Master Plan (French architect and planner commissioned by Jawaharlal Nehru to plan the city of Chandigarh in post independent India) in almost every aspect of Chandigarh’s urban experience. Through this project I tried to understand the kind of invisibilities produced by such a vision of urban planning. The cluster of ‘illegal’ settlements - 'lal dora' that are interspersed through out Chandigarh, became a key site for my inquiry. These villages which the master plan effectively hides in plain sight, continue to remain vital to the city’s existence. The city’s negative attitude to these villages became symbolic of an inegalitarian imagination of a city - an imagination I hope to critique through this ongoing project. The work includes cement drawings of maps, an audio piece, government furniture installation and a moving image piece.

 

The contested realities of the city are thus explored.
 

The city envisioned by Nehru.

 

The city delivered by Corbusier.

 

The city lived in by a resident.

 

The city thronged by a vendor.

 

The city governed by the state.

 

The city studied by a student.

Images of Installation, May 2018

Images from the research process

The following maps were drawn on the flip side of a canvas using concrete as paint. The following series of three drawings depicts the progression in which the city reveals itself - sector by sector.

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Left: The Open Hand Monument, Le Corbusier

Right: Current Map of the City

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Lal Dora villages in the vicinity of my residence.

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The folder contains all the legal documents of possession, construction and notices of violations of the house no. 455, 44A, annotated with personal testimonies.