Chandigarh Exhibitions in Canada and Belgium
There are two exhibitions on the architecture and planning of Chandigarh currently on show – one at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, and the other by Archipel at Kortrijk, Belgium.
The CCA exhibition is entitled How architects, experts, politicians, international agencies and citizens negotiate modern planning: Casablanca Chandigarh, and has been curated by Maristella Casciato and Tom Avermaete. It runs until 20th April 2014 and a publication to accompany the exhibition is to be released early 2014. I haven’t seen the CCA exhibition, but its extensive use of Pierre Jeanneret archival material promises to open up new vantage points from which we can view this intriguing city.
The Archipel exhibition has been curated following a visit to Chandigarh by 130 Belgian architects who descended onto the city, and captured not only the architecture but also something of the daily life of the place. Using a series of projectors rather than still photographs, the exhibition is constantly in flux as the large images switch from historical details through to the latest buildings, housing and street scenes. Interviews and films are also broadcast and sound recordings captured in India help to transport a little bit of Chandigarh into Europe. In addition to displaying images and sounds of Chandigarh a side exhibition investigates the relationship between the urbanism of Kortrijk and Chandigarh. An extraordinary collection of material has been gathered as a result of the visit to Chandigarh and I hope it can be collated and published.
Chandigarh continues to provoke, inspire and challenge. It was refreshing not to see the original plan of the city critiqued, nor the hero worship of Le Corbusier; rather the exhibition considered how this great experiment has been adapted, modified and inhabited, and celebrates these interventions.