URBAN EPIDERMIS: A journey of dilapidation

Vikram Divecha

June 21 - Sept 1, 2012

URBAN EPIDERMIS: A journey of dilapidation

URBAN EPIDERMIS: A journey of dilapidation
Vikram Divecha

Man and the city share a curious alliance.
Each builds the other and also exhausts the other.
Celebrates the other. And often forgets the other.
Depends on the other. And also deceives the other.
It is a relation that tends to get mutually abusive.
With time the wearing and tearing does emerge on many urban surfaces.

Residing and working in recently developed areas in Dubai the artist can’t help but notice the spanking new infrastructure that surrounds him. They stand in stark contrast to the aging neighborhoods he is more familiar with. The roads there, which were once pristine, today seem like an evidence of a journey of dilapidation. These cracked surfaces that have been layered over the years by cyclic tire marks, reflect the machinated patterns endured by the individuals who traverse this course regularly.

Looking at these abused grounds one questions what will be the future of the developments that are fast mushrooming across our planet. Do the progressive forces that are driving this growth have a plan for the miniscule unit called the individual in this larger picture? Will these communities and their populace be forgotten as we shift our focus to the next modern development?

This brings to mind the unsung efforts of entire populations who exhaust their lives building and running a city. With time they reside in a blank spot on the urban map, as they are left to operate like a rickety piece of machinery. The city then reflects the toll it takes on its citizens. The urban condition becomes the face of the human condition.

This suggests that our consumerist tendencies apply on a broader landscape. Our desire to discard the old for the new knows no bounds. Entire communities then seem like commodities that come with an expiry date.