The two-month long residency at Pepper House, part of Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2018 culminated in “Alice in a room of one’s own”. The time spent in Kochi gradually became an intense process of exploration. I didn’t go with any particular plan for the residency. However, I started with something familiar – drawing on graph papers. While I was working on the graph in my space at the Pepper House, I realized that there was a grid right over me and the traditional warehouse structure came into my work – a narrative grew from there. Like this several things I saw, heard or experienced during my stay featured in my drawings.
After the first few weeks, I started a performative exercise at the Vayanshalas (reading rooms) in and around Kochi. Questioning the invisibility of women in these community spaces, I visited distinct reading rooms every day and spent 30-40 minutes there reading a newspaper with fellow readers (men of different age group).
Delving into the news every day, thinking of accessibility, the shaping of thought and the transformation of familiar spaces, COVER-UNCOVER was conceived where the entire collection of the library at Pepper House was covered with newspaper, in their set order.
All these diverse processes were put together as Alice in a room of one’s own wherein a viewer may engage with few things, suddenly encounter something and even miss a few. Thus, Alice’s room becomes a room of one’s own for all.
P.C. Some of the images used here are documentation by the KMB Team