Through a series of space-specific installations and interventions, LIJO.RENY.architects occupy the Kerala Lalithkala Academy Art Gallery – a humble space by Laurie Baker. The installations prompt the visitor to alter perceptions of space and re-engage with the volumes that compose it.
The configuration of space in the Kerala Lalitkala Academy is seen by many artists as a deterrent in presenting works of art primarily because like all Laurie Baker’s buildings, the space is vibrant (and non-sterile). Lijo Jos and Reny Lijo think that the space can be an extension of the work itself and thus. The architects’ reading of space perhaps challenges the notions of a contemporary art-gallery type that is reduced to a well-lit white box.
Attempt 01 is a series of site-specific interventions in this gallery that is meant to provoke the visitors to re-engage with the space to realize its potential. The exhibit begins at an un-conventional point. A visitor is taken to a secondary entrance that might instigate an alternative reading of Laurie Baker’s Space.
The idea is to present an alternative interpretation of a gallery space – from a space as a tool to present art to a space that is an extension of the art it presents. The installations (titled ‘…never knew that he was blessed’, ‘secret’, ‘connect’ and ‘crowd’) become pieces of performance art as the visitor moves through the spaces they inhabit. The experience becomes very tactile.
Light filters through the objects in the gallery altering the ambience of the place throughout the day. A visitor passes through many experiences that enable a cognitive reading of the architecture that surrounds these works. Sometimes bright and sometimes dark, sometimes breathing and sometimes claustrophobic, the uncanny of the installation is complemented by the familiarity of the architecture.
“All the works presented in the show were done based on the possibilities that ‘this building’ offered. None of the work can be redone anywhere else without diluting the essence of the work.” – Lijo Jos and Reny Lijo.
Text: Ruturaj Parikh; MATTER.
Images: © Praveen Mohandas; courtesy LIJO.RENY.architects.