Something you notice when you walk around in Kathmandu is how building materials use the same street space as people.
There is no separation, no wall, no signalling of each other's square on the chessboard. Walking around involves a constant dynamic process of establishing rights of way and space sovereignty.
Construction work is not separated from other everyday activities by hoardings. It's all in plain view and close to your body. You can compare material against material, legs against metal rods, hands against bricks
One particular occurrence that I'm liking is the pile of bricks turned wall. Bricks are in (public) storage, waiting to be used, but they also act as a wall. Some wall attributes appear here and there over time (moss, plants creeping up) and from certain angles these stacks do look as walls, but at any moment a builder may appear and take away some of the bricks to build a real, legit wall nearby.
I have now been in Kathmandu for ten days. I've been mostly walking around, taking photos, sketching and meeting members of the local art community.
There are some questions in the back of my mind. Like: what does it mean to be a contemporary artist in Nepal?
What kind of parallels can you establish with the movements, styles and aesthetic theories that have kept us arguing in the West for the last decades?
And most importantly: what is the nature of the everyday relationship between people and materials?
In the coming months, I will be posting about the clues I find to answer those questions - and everything else that pops up in between. I may not send an email out for every post I write (it could get a bit too much). If you are interested, please keep coming back to check what's new.
Here's some images from the Studio 1.1 group show. It was wisely curated by Robin Seir (also showing) and it was listed on Art Rabbit. We had good feedback and a big group of St. Martins students with their tutors having a close look. Incidentally, the name of the show comes from this 1964 Eric Dolphy track.