press release

Architectural modernism presented the glass façade as equivalent to participation and empathy with the surroundings… democracy! Rapidly, this utopian dream turned into a landscape of spectacle and surveillance: the endlessly reflecting ‘curtain wall’… the dark glasses of security infrastructure.

Newer utopias, such as those being propagated via TV living-rooms and fantasy architectures, produce an even more alluring vision of a global, mutable, and yet secure identity. As we find in the script of the new Bangalore, the mall, the housing complex, the corporate campus… all play a familiar, anti-urban role. Still islands of glass, but now with subterranean dedicated lines, and sky-borne ‘direct-to-home’ access. This condition, which speaks also of the global IT-worker, of extensive yet domestic desires, of immobility and paranoia, is addressed here by two artists from ‘elsewhere’:

Christoph Schäfer lives in Hamburg and works with urbanism, gardens, themeparks, fashion and everyday life, in art spaces and in collective and individual interventionist projects. Christoph‘s work, ‘Melrose Place_d in Bangalore‘, is about a housing complex in suburban Bangalore that is literally fashioned after the once trendy Californian TV series, Melrose Place. Through drawings and videos he explores the notion of utopian settlements, and their inversion now, in the IT-corridor, as gated communities.

Ashok Sukumaran is based in Bombay. His recent work deals with the intersection of human habitat with so-called ‘embedded systems‘, electronics and processes that are increasingly pervasive in the everyday environment. His work at Colab addresses the gallery itself, as a city building and as electronic infrastructure. He creates an electronic ‘leak‘ across the building courtyard, across two spaces that are otherwise safely separated by distance, ownership and assumed function.


only in german

City of Glass
Christoph Schäfer, Ashok Sukumaran