Tree Trunks and Fly-overs

Bangalore, India, 2008

The fly-overs
The term „fly-over“ is very much opposite to what it conjures up in your mind - light, unobtrusive and floating. Instead they are heavily built with tons of concrete.
They are made so to swallow and transfer masses of vehicles. Their meandering arms are spread as a second layer over the already existing roadnet of the city. The big stout legs stand in the middle of small streets; in front of shops, which suddenly turn into toy versions of themselves. The fly-over replaces the sky.

The tree trunks
After living in Bangalore for almost half a year I got used to the sight of fly-overs under Construction. Once while walking underneath the Wheeler Road extension fly-over a bizarre meeting of two very different elements caught my attention: a banyan tree almost cut in half and the rim of the fly-over running right through the upper part of its trunk. I saw two different ways of how time could be experienced here; the old tree and the fly-over colliding with each other. The banyan tree planted decades ago, repre­senting contemplation, its shade place of meetings in the past, suddenly giving way to a Construction defined by the French philosopher Marc Augé  as „non-place“ („non-lieu“) - a space where there are no traditions or identities. A fly-over is per se a symbol for not being at a place, of not experiencing a site. The name: FLY–OVER equals to being there - but still, to not being there.

The trees are victims of the ever faster growing/developing town. It is as if they were taken over by the attributes of a busy city. They lie as dead bodies along the Construction sites of the fly-overs with their roots exposed to the air. The fate of the trees is one visual example among many others that proves how an alien element - the fly-over - can disconnect or interrupt a homogenous system (the daily life in a neighbourhood).

© Rahel Hegnauer, 2008