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Radhika Khimji, Safely Standing



The artist discusses her project in Haiti that both surprised and challenged her using a space that was a courtyard open to the elements. It is a place where objects are in a state of suspension, a state of waiting, the footprint of a home.

On the foundation of a former residence, three walls stand at angles to each other on a tiled floor, talismanically protecting the surrounding area. The foundation, exposed to the elements, becomes a ceramic carpet, demarcating a territory that was once indoors.

Radhika Khimji on her project Safely Standing:
When I arrived to Port au Prince at night, on my journey to where I was staying I saw many boundary walls surrounding properties, with broken glass embedded on top - like barbed wire - to stop and resist intrusion. These barriers, made to protect a home, are the inspiration behind Safely Standing. Walls, by their very nature, protect and provide shelter. These walls, however, provide neither, but encase within them a certain defensiveness. A desire to resist an external gaze.

Immediately upon visiting the site, I had an impulse to build these walls, to make an architectural response to a place where many buildings had come down, and build with the same materials present in the surrounding spaces.
 

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