Under the programme'CitySpaces - StadtRäume' - the thematic focus of the year of Germany in India (2011-2013) - Prof. Heidi Specker was invited to visit Ahmedabad on a residency from December 2011 to January 2012. During her stay, she concentrated on ancient arts and crafts in the contemporary city. Her artistic book 'M.G. Road' - will be presented at the opening of the exhibition.
"There will be no place in India - from small villages to big cities - without a road named after Mahatma Gandhi. MG Road is one of the main streets in Ahmedabad. During my four week stay, I combed her way up and down the street at least once a day. Just as Gandhi encouraged people to weave their clothes for independence, I crafted MG Road from 27 images.
Ahmedabad is known as the Manchester of the East. The city has been influenced by the rise and fall of the textile mills. Families like the Sarabhais have been instrumental in inviting architects and artists from the west to the city, who have given different representative buildings to Ahmedabad like the City Hall or the ATMA building but also residential buildings like the Sarabhai House which hosts works of international artists.
The wooden conference room of the ATMA building seems to me like the heart of the modernist idea. As B.V. Doshi mentioned to me, Le Corbusier allowed the Indian craftsman to express themselves while building it.
MG Road builds on the vision of combining the traditional crafts with the modernistic concepts and cares about the local traditions, retaining their qualities in a globalized world, in which everything would be monochrome." (Heidi Specker)
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Prof. Heidi Specker teaches photography at the Academy of Visual Arts (HochschulefürGrafik und Buchkunst, HGB) in Leipzig, Germany. Born in Damme, Germany, in 1962, she studied photography in Bielefeld and Leipzig. Her work has been shown in national and international exhibitions. Heidi Specker is also working on artistic books. Recent residencies include the Villa Massimo in Rome in 2010. She lives and works in Leipzig and Berlin.