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Sculptural installations and scratch music will tease the tectonics of Jantar Mantar today. This is a light and sound show with a difference.
Jantar Mantar will wear an aura this evening. What has been a site for protests will be a space to host "Luminocity," an event brought to the Capital as part of the Bonjour India festival. The 18th-century astronomical observatory will light up with LEDs, projectors and light installations for a surreal view of the solar system, the comets, and the sky.
Artists Patrick Rimoux from Paris and Nandita Palchoudhuri from Kolkata, who are known for their sculptural light work, have designed this light show. Among his other light installations, Rimoux has also illuminated the Grand Place in Brussels, the facade of the French Embassy in New York and the Nelson Mandela bridge in South Africa. Palchoudhuri's peacock-shaped boat, which was made using 1,35,000 micro bulbs, was installed as a centrepiece for the Mayors Thames Festival in 2003.
Palchoudhuri uses light bulbs and LEDs in her installations, both at the entrance and down the flight of steps. The entrance has a large 3D-light installation shaped as a crescent moon, surrounded by sun and comets. Several rectangular light installations decorated with swans, rivers, houses, and flowers with days of the week written on the top depict the different notions of time. She had seven artists from Chandannagar, West Bengal to work with the old lights. "My work is an entry into the socio-economic redistribution through art. The idea is to employ these artists throughout the year rather than give them work only during festivals, such as Durga Puja to light up the pandals. The installations combine two ends of a spectrum. At one end, we have simple old-style lights that villagers make and at the other, we have hi-tech illumination that meets the imagination," she says.