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A discovery zone – that’s what INSERT2014 has been to me. Where the self, seeing and reading the space of Mati Ghar, as well as the publication, encounters and navigates between different departure points. Where diverse practices constantly make one uncomfortable in the mind, and physically. Take, for instance, the work of Katarzyna Kozyra. What I’ll also remember forever is the colour yellow. It fills me. With knowledge, reasons and energy – the things that it stands for.

- Parul Gupta


The name ‘Mati Ghar’ now creates an image in our minds. And it draws in other spaces. The Rabindra Rangshala, for instance, behind the 20-25 feet tall Hanuman Mandir; it’s one of the spaces part of New Models for Common Ground. A giant, old, hungry structure. Hungry to tell us its history, its glory – lost or never achieved, its potential to be something, the time warps it inhabits. Inside the Rangshala, the shredded red fabric (remains of the old screen) looks like the skin of some animal. The dust that has settled there is almost an inch thick – I almost felt like digging, and terribly missed my instruments.

And Skipper Tower. Our encounter with it was not what we expected – renovation/reconstruction has started, and we couldn’t go exploring. But that, and the little conversation we managed with the people at work there, only fueled our imagination. Even the definitiveness of “2 years” – the stipulated time for the re-construction to get over, as mentioned by a worker – melted.

We sat in AIFACS and talked about Rabindra Rangshala. The strength of the invisible; the distance letting us imagine more, go beyond. The discussion lingered and permeated through places-spaces-sites-ideas-imagination in, and around, Mati Ghar and the rest of Delhi.

- Debasis Beura


In the round hut, there is an encounter with a book on bandits. It’s on my way to the exit. Somehow this leads me to read further into an unknown world. I find myself associating with the bandit. I go through the books, the scattered table, the books, the posters and the stories. I’m not sure how and why I connect with being a bandit.

I take a walk inside of the round hut. I interact with a video game simulation. Is this is a game? I’m as much into the simulation as the videos.

When I go up the stairs, three holes greet me with light beaming through. A structure can be broken through.

I remember feeling the pulse of the city, of seeing a work participating with the public, in the room behind the library (inside JNU). Yao points out to spaces in Taiwan, to a school becoming a centre for conversations.

Somehow the round hut always led to another exit/entrance.

- Gagandeep Singh


It was as if the artist had gone out for a walk, and all of a sudden we were in her/his studio space. That was just one corner of the Mati Ghar during Insert2014. For a wonderful interview session with a DNA journalist, I chose that very corner of Mati Ghar. Two chairs stood idly near routine objects, books and notebooks that lay scattered beside a computer. There were many image-texts on the walls around.

A tiny wavy protuberance jut outwards, breaking away from the given architecture of Mati Ghar, almost linking the inner chaos to the birds chirruping on the trees outside. How sudden, and how good, for high-up officials in high offices to know the importance of a new window in their brains!

Who will forget having their breath taken away under the dome? Who wouldn’t have said Ah! on seeing mosquitoes hover around the spider’s web? Who wouldn’t have halted near the donkey? Who won’t have watched the emaciated lady letting medicine insert her veins? Only a person in a hurry could have missed the ghostly, sexy movement of the empty bed near the entrance, where the converging space was as much a part of the video clip as the low lights were. It was haunting indeed.

Lecture presentations as on going performance on one end and the Mati Ghar pregnant with art objects on the other end. The structure held this simultaneity. Ah, that presentation on Duchamp, like music. How to stop such artists from inserting something new, and for that new to rip the old! Ah, that illusion called ‘actor selection test’. Ah, that presentation on art, like a space-time research during the Communist regime. Ah, that Last Minute Exercise.

It’s movement that creates space, not the other way round. With ‘Forensic Architecture’ I contemplated how the scientific chasing of a representation can lead one to discover the illusory nature of the devices by which we ascertain meaning, and that yet it can open new windows to blend newer insights through which we may realise the multiples that we are.

Insert: the idea and the form. Insert: the pleasure and the radical thought. Insert: the texture and the song. Insert: the nexus between artists of all kinds, and people of all shades.

As my conversation with the journalist wove on, I watched the ease with which people, artists, poets, architects, actors, friends, students, teachers, activists, officials, workers kept entering and exiting the political, the aesthetic, the conceptual, the poetic, and the labyrinthine ideas of space in the city.

- Inder Salim

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