Play Projects 2020

Curate the home – by Charlie Levine

Work in your pairs.

Find a space in the apartment – this can be as big or as small as you’d like.

Curate a show in that space, they have to be either:

  • A solo show by one of the pair
  • A response to an image in a selected envelope.

Document each show however you’d like to (film, photo, sketch, review)

Give a tour of the exhibitions to the rest of the fellows.

Memory architecture – by Vishwa Shroff

Work in Pairs 

  • Describe your childhood home, highlighting the experience of that space ( Favourite hiding place, where you played, how you arranged your corner, where you were not permitted and why, did any of the spaces have a time limit, objects within that room, etc)  to your partner either as a conversation or as text. You may share photographs too.
  • Your partner will then make a narrative from your description highlighting physical elements that they feel best convey your narrative. The project can use text or drawings or plans or elevations or photography or theatre sets or any other format. 
  • The final result will be a book of 2 spaces with the original description and narrative interpretation. 

Tender Buttons – by Rose van Mierlo


The meaning of this is entirely and best to say the mark,

best to say it best to show sudden places, best to make bitter, 

best to make length tall and nothing broader, anything between the half.

Written by Gertrude Stein in 1914,
Tender Buttons consists of three sections titled “Objects”, “Food”, and “Rooms”. While describing everyday mundane things, Stein’s experimental use of language renders her subjects unfamiliar, in an effort to “create a word relationship between the word and the things seen” using a “realist” perspective. 

Tender Buttons is renowned for its Modernist approach to portraying the everyday, domestic object in a new way. The book in turn described as a modernist triumph, “masterpiece of verbal Cubism“, a spectacular failure, a collection of confusing gibberish, and an intentional hoax. As such, it is both art and non-art, quality and trouble in one entity. 

The title has been said by some to suggest a hidden queer, lesbian narrative, which has neither been confirmed or denied by Stein. It can also be interpreted to suggest a singular, static moment of time that is free of the implications of space. The title, like the poems, exists in a space that is independent of the implications of a certain time, and in this sense, is one reason for the collection’s timelessness. While the word “tender” and the word “buttons” are two ordinary words in the sense that they both have familiar meanings to the average reader, their displacement from a usual context and their subsequent synthesis ruptures a usual understanding of their meanings and implications. By displacing these words into an unfamiliar context, Stein challenges our notion of what these words actually mean. 

Following in Gertrude Stein’s footsteps, this is an exercise in the “defamiliarization of the familiar while simultaneously familiarizing the unfamiliar”. The exercise provides a lens through which to reframe the everyday. It is an encouragement to ‘switch’ between familiar and normative modes of production, media, and poetics.

While in Mumbai, poems will be distributed amongst participants, which you are encouraged to interpret as a pair, through drawings, doodles, poems, responses, photographs, sculptures, conversations, fiction, or even just by moving familiar objects around in a surprising way. These are taken from Stein’s categories: OBJECTS, FOOD, and ROOMS. At the end of the residency, results from this period will be selected for the studio presentation.

Additional sources

Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons: Objects, Food, Rooms (1914, PDF attached)

Dining by Goto Katsushi 

Whether you choose to live collectively or live with a family, cooking or having a meal together is seemingly the necessary activity/function for a household. Especially in an urban context the condition of our food has become an increasingly serious issue. The idea of food security and health are imposed on us. During this play project, participants are encouraged to approach food as an interpretation of individual wellbeing outside of the household.  

Stage 1: Working in Pair in Mumbai

Describe your abnormality/obsession related to food or dining habit to each other.  

Based on your partner’s description, create a meal/plate/course for them.  This could be just a menu, narrative of the situation of dining or even set up for dining.  

The idea is to articulate very private dining in an unordinary manner for the partner.

Stage 2:  Post-residency 

Continue the stage 1.  Choose/cook a meal and set up a table/plate for the partner and document the project.  This stage could also be either visually represented, described in the text or even photograph. 



A household is defined as:

  • one person living alone, or
  • a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room or sitting room or dining area.

This includes:

  •  sheltered accommodation units in an establishment where 50 per cent or more have their own kitchens (irrespective of whether there are other communal facilities), and
  • all people living in caravans on any type of site that is their usual residence. This will include anyone who has no other usual residence elsewhere in the UK.

A household must contain at least one person whose place of usual residence is at the address. A group of short-term residents living together is not classified as a household, and neither is a group of people at an address where only visitors are staying.

(2011 Census Glossary of Terms, May 2014, England and Wales)

Household: A ‘household’ is usually a group of persons who normally live together and take their meals from a common kitchen unless the exigencies of work prevent any of them from doing so. Persons in a household may be related or unrelated or a mix of both. However, if a group of unrelated persons live in a census house but do not take their meals from the common kitchen, then they are not constituent of a common household. Each such person should be treated as a separate household. The important link in finding out whether it is a household or not, is a common kitchen. There may be one member households, two member households or multi-member households. 

In a few situations, it may become difficult to apply the definition of household strictly as given above. For example, a person living alone in a census house whether cooking or not cooking meals is treated as a household. Similarly, if husband and wife or a group of related persons are living together in a census house but not cooking their meals, is also constitute a normal household. 

(Census of India 2001 )


A dwelling is defined as a permanent building or structurally separated part thereof, such as a detached house or unit of an apartment building that, by the way it has been built or altered, is intended for habitation by one household.

A structurally separated part should be completely partitioned with fixed concrete or wooden walls. A dwelling for habitation by one household must satisfy the following four requisites with respect to facilities.

(1) At least one room;

(2) A sink for cooking for exclusive use;

(3) A toilet for exclusive use; and

(Even if (2) and (3) are for joint use, both should

be located to permit use at any time and accessed

without passing through other households.)

(4) An entrance for exclusive use.

(Explanation of Terms of the 2013 Survey, Statistics Bureau of Japan)



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