Alicja Dobrucka

You don’t just invite friends over. You invite awe, 2013

C-type print

152 x 122 cm

Edition of 3 + 2 APs, number 2 of 3


Urban photography captures the spirit of the city. Alicja Dobrucka’s ‘You don’t just invite friends over. You invite awe’ reflects the rapid expansion of Mumbai. It is part of the artist’s series ‘Life is on a New High, Mumbai 2013-15’. Currently Mumbai is home to the largest number of supertalls and skyscrapers under construction in the world. Almost all of these towers are residential. They are therefore imposing by size and inappropriateness in equal measure.

The architecture of the newly builds is unimaginative, conformist and yet aspirational. Similarly the affluent inhabitants model themselves on partly mistaken perceptions of international displays of wealth. What they clearly intend to be an emulation of a western lifestyle has no close equivalent in the West. Dobrucka captures this sense of aspiration. She further stresses it by the title of the work. She takes the phrase from advertising slogans selling homes in these new structures. However, at the same time, the artist also exposes the reality of the city. The contrast between aspirations and reality.