crisis care catharsis


We Have Different Spaces in Mind (I, IV, V and VI), 2019Concrete and miniature brass castings of elements

Responding to a new place and culture after relocating from Tripura to Kolkata, alienation led Rathin Barman to closely observe the area he was living in, the southern quarters of the city, which held colonies of houses of migrators from Bangladesh post-partition.

Barman observed and analysed different spaces of dwelling that existed in close proximity with another, enclosing within their four walls the hopes and aspirations of numerous migrants. With a keen eye of a formalist, Barman captures the heaviness of these itinerant dreams in the tiny prototypes of those small and cheap house constructions in Kolkata, which are known for their unique ability to multiply and assemble with each other often by exploiting the grey areas of legality.

Using concrete as material, the blocks are complemented with delicate brass armatures, replicating a balcony or window trellis. They reiterate accounts of fragmented histories of the exodus through a mundane aesthetic. Intricacies of structural plans of these dwellings are simplified intentionally, with minimal suggestions like a flight of stairs, a courtyard or a tiny window through which urban intimacies grow and strangers become friends.