Seldom do cafe’s uphold the image of inculcating pandemonium. They’re rather known as sanctuaries to unwind and commonly known for catching up and sharing a cuppa with your pals. Seldom, do they imbibe a sense discombobulation or the feel of an escape room. For those who aspire to escape the daily monotony and the pleasure of sticking to the standard average, Unlocked café designed by Renesa Architecture and Design Studio, is a combination of sophistication through geometric patterns ascribed within the plush interiors. Capturing these varied keyframes through her artistry, is Niveditaa Gupta; a master in her craft of photography. Who collaborated alongside this renowned café with phenomenal design. Her work revolved around channeling a rather, distorted and puzzling image through different angles in the cafe, to the spectator.
Give us a more insight towards this project.
Geometrication [Unlocked Cafe] is a cafe designed by Renesa (Architecture Design Interiors Studio) - The experience is driven by the choices the visitor will have to make in this board game cafe. I got a chance to collaborate with Renesa to photograph the space in a way that resonates with the character of the space - puzzling and geometric to some extent. We brought in the ‘Man with the Mirror’ to hint at the reflections the mirror catches from different angles in the cafe - but it was also a way to agonise the viewer with a jumbled photo of what actually exists.
What are some of your biggest inspirations over the years of your artistic career?
Helene Binet has been my biggest inspiration - there was sensuality in her photographs of massy buildings - which made me think that I didn’t have to look at a building objectively, that this could extend beyond being a documentary body of work - photographs of buildings could generate feelings - that could be more abstract than the concrete ideas that shaped the building. A photo of bricks could be eerie, light coming through a opening could be sexual! It was the first time I got excited about picking up a camera.
Describe your creative process and the purpose with which you create.
A lot of my personal work is ongoing - but the ideas have sort of always begun with a single sentence I might write down. Most of my personal photographic work has never begun with a photograph. Lately I am having these thoughts about sexuality and architecture that might fester into something, but its slow and it comes and goes. I’d love to see how these could compliment or harass each other.
What is the first piece of art/photograph/film/music that impacted you deeply?
I think I was deeply moved by the stillness in Space Odyssey. It was eerie because you were kind of always anticipating that the silence would be followed by something shatteringly loud. There was some silence in the music too, which was weirdly interesting. It was noisy and vacant - I liked that about the scenes with the monolith. I would love to reach a point where I can say that about a photograph I make.
If you could propose and lead a project with the Indian Government, what would it be?
I’d love to hang photographs in the Parliament. Some absurd images that might subconsciously leave some sort of mental impression that stays with policy makers through the day. Something primal - nudes maybe. Something that appeals to their animal instincts more than their rationality, or lack thereof.
Which is your favourite piece of work of your own & why?
I think maybe the collage stuff I made out of my photographs at the Jewish Museum, and also more recently a school I photographed in Bhadran, Gujarat, for Samira Rathod. I loved running around little kids at this school and taking photos of them really enjoying the dancing arches - and their moms hard at work at the construction site. The school is all red brick, so when I went there in the monsoon, it was interesting to photograph it completely drenched and sort of shining in the rain. Making videos of that was fun!
One track you’re currently listening to?
It is weirdly super calm - Marelle, by Craig Armstrong
A project you wish you were a part of?
The Fearless Collective, by Shilo Shiv Suleman.
Your favourite midnight munchies?
Rajma is ideal any time of the day.
Your greatest vice?
One of these days I might OD on Rajma.
If you like Niveditaa’s work, be sure to check her Instagram out!
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