Life Is on a New High




Ask yourself, how much envy can you endure?

Neither wealth nor influence will bring them back again.

Grab this opportunity and live a ‘life fulfilled’.

Wake up every day to a spectacular view of the blue sky romancing the sea.

Come home to beach side joys.

Life is on a new high.

— All quotes are from the Property Times, addition to The Times of India.

There are an estimated 20,482 persons per square kilometre living in Mumbai. The living space is 4.5 square meters per person, and the number of slumdwellers is estimated to be 9 million, or 62% of all Mumbaikers. In parallel to this, the city is experiencing a massive construction boom, with supertalls, skyscrapers and high-rises being thrown up at an unprecedented rate. Alicja Dobrucka (1985, Poland) explores this new form of extreme vertical living and the grotesque consequences it has to the skyline, the experience of the city on the street-level, as well as the environment.

Most of the buildings are residential. Yet, despite their generic, conformist shape, the advertisements tell another story, attempting to illustrate to potential residents how much better life would be, when viewed from inside the walls of one specific building. The constructions are not just a place to live, but a status symbol – or, at least, so the developers would have you believe. Dobrucka combines the empty aspirationalism of texts taken from the property section of The Times of India with images of the skyline under construction and found advertising imagery of similarly aspirational interiors, creating a clear-eyed view at the construction of a dystopia.