A Slightly Curving Place


New date: Jul 23–Sep 20, 2020

Padmini Chettur, study for A Slightly Curving Place, 2020 | Image: Sara

Padmini Chettur, study for A Slightly Curving Place, 2020 | Image: Sara

Isipabbhar is a Prakrit phrase from Jain cosmology referring to a special place above the heavens shaped like a parasol. It is where the disembodied souls of the perfected ones go to live in eternal isolation. There, sealed off from the rest of the cosmos, they are unable to interact with other souls, unable to hear them or be heard.

In this exhibition, a slightly curving place is to be found not at the apex of the universe but under an ambisonic dome of speakers. Here, an audience of listeners might gather to sense a past they cannot hear. The sound that arrives is a record of sound as it was. Elsewhere, on projection screens, the body of a dancer rotates in one direction, as it makes an image of time that turns in another.

Centered around a multi-authored audio play, the exhibition responds to propositions opened up by Umashankar Manthravadi in his practice as a self-taught acoustic archaeologist. It brings together writers, choreographers, dancers, actors, composers, musicians, field recordists and sound designers who engage and transform not just each others’ work but also that of many others.

The ambisonic dome, which comprises 21 speakers and produces a three-dimensional sound field, has been provided by the Audio Communication Group, Technische Universität Berlin.

A volume accompanying the exhibition will be published by archive books in September 2020.

The exhibition is realized in collaboration with and with contributions by Umashankar Manthravadi, Mojisola Adebayo, Bani Abidi, Vinit Agarwal, Sukesh Arora, Anurima Banerjee, Moushumi Bhowmik, Arunima Chatterjee, Madhuri Chattopadyay, Padmini Chettur, Emese Csornai, Padma Damodaran, Jenifer Evans, Eunice Fong, Tyler Friedman, Janardan Ghosh, Brooke Holmes, Alexander Keefe, Sukanta Majumdar, Robert Millis, Farrah Mulla, Rita Panjatan, Ayaz Pasha, TJ Rehmi, RENU, Uzma Z. Rizvi, Sara, Yashas Shetty, The Travelling Archive, Maarten Visser and others.

More about the project

Curated by Nida Ghouse

Part of The New Alphabet

Exhibition, discourse program, publication

New date:
Jul 23–Sep 20, 2020

Opening hours:
Daily except Tue
2–8 pm

Exhibition hall 2, lobby

Free admission

The public discourse program will be developed as a digital format.

To ensure comfort and security of our visitors and employees, health and safety protocols have been established. This includes a reduced visitor capacity and a no-touch viewing experience. Please wear your own mouth and nose protection on site and maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from others. We recommend to bring your own headphones.

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