On a rainy Monday evening in April, the Wheeler Road flyover didn’t just provide unsuspecting passersby with shelter but also offered them “flyover stew” with parathas, plus pani puri stuffed with mangoes and pomegranate arils for dessert.
While the port in the storm was free, the warm broth and bread had an interesting price tag: you had to tell a story in exchange for it. Three stew-ges, anyone?
The Grim Broth-ers
Two German artists, Laura Klatt and Tobias Daemgen, on bangaloResidency, an initiative by the Goethe-Institut/Max Mueller, are behind this “UFO Pop-Up Restaurant”, a public arts intervention that lays the table once again tonight.
Both artists were drawn to these tracts of land under the flyover because in cities where everything seems to serve a purpose, these spaces are “interestingly undefined and unclaimed.” Tobias, a light and acoustic artist, wanted to “enlighten and enliven” this location, while Laura, a trained chef, used food to make it feel “more safe and inviting.”
Light Here, Light Now
Today evening, Tobias will take the lead in a one-night only show under the Wheeler Road flyover titled From Darkness. He will collaborate with Laura, as well as German sound artist Wolfgang Spahn; dancers Nikhil Ravi Parmar and Tejesh Kumar from the Natya & STEM Dance Kampni; and Neha Mehta, a sculptor. “Light has the same timeless resonance and effect as a camp fire and we intend to draw people to this space and have them connect,” says Tobias, explaining his love for the medium.
For this occasion, he has converted a wooden vending cart into a light cart that seems to have organically sprouted metal rods, with modified lab equipment and LED lights. “I’ve always created light works that are inspired by the plant and animal kingdoms – sometimes they look like octopi or even creepers,” he explains. These light works are also sound-sensitive and respond to ambient noises. “Clapping your hands or making a loud noise can change the structure and the colours of the light installation, so go hang out with it,” he tells us.
And if you missed the rainy stew a few days ago, it doesn’t batter because tonight, you can go over and barter your stories for potato salad, the way Laura’s mum used to make it. If you have an oral story, she’ll record it on her recorder, but a written story can be submitted as well, and to overcome language barriers, you can take along art works too. All of these will find a way into Laura’s next public art show, which is currently veering towards a play.
Much aaloo about nothing?
Getting there: From Darkness, Under the Flyover, Wheeler Road, call 9243100911 for directions, 7-8.30 pm, free entry but bring stories to barter.
Wake up to daily updates on what to eat/shop/do in your city