Wednesday, December 14, 2011

the house in the stairwell / the workshop in the mansion

in the lobby below the stair is a home. a family that has lived in artificial light forever- in the stairwell complete with a roof inside the roof of the atrium.

above is a lovely high ceilinged room with arches overlooking the street within which muslim men sit and embroider fabric. delicately.

is the air conditioning for them- or for their work?

Monday, December 12, 2011


the perpetual suburb of chennai. a series of cloistered inward looking neighbourhoods- some with old temples, others from the 60s- housing colonies with wide tree lined avenues. urbanity is the thick dense areas around the temples, older villages transformed; or the colonial georgetown and the 'broadway' or the esplanade with the high court and the horrific black and gold new tamil nadu assembly. the beaches of marina and ellis are sleepy flat white gold. within this is tamilian melodrama- a life lived on another plane. the mall is a set for a sivaji ganeshan film and though the cutouts were missing every person lived a performed martyrdom i recognize in my father- and unfortunately even in myself.

our study was set in the fishing village of sriniwasapruam on the southern tip of marina beach in the shadow of the lighthouse and surrounded by crumbling socail housing built by the state. as far as locations go it cant get any better and naturally hotels want the land. the thin promontory of land has a grid of housing buitl by the state in the 1960s- decrepti and crumbling. the spane in between the buildings has been encroached upon and the boundary of the buildings is fuzzy at best.