On 15th May we all got together at Khoj guest house, in Khirkee Extension, with a lot of excitement and expectations in our eyes. We slowly started mingling with each other by showing our works and automatically got into discussions of our ideologies and issues. Next day we went for a crazy walk in the street and a visit to India gate. We didn`t took much time to get close without much diplomacy. We all got into our studios, started thinking about our work, its execution and began searching for materials in the hot burning metropolis. I am the person who roam around my friends’ studios and streets. The last two days were noisy and nights were sleepless: people sat in the bedrooms, courtyards, metros and the kitchen and had discourses about science, psychology, Marxism, gender, sociology, linguistics, territorial boundaries, power-relations, caste systems etc.
The whole residency program can be conceive as an excellent way to channelize the frustration of narrow academic practices, white cube spaces and commercial groups to break norms and to expand boundaries. We got an exceptional space for materialization - Khoj residency offers us a black cube to do whatever we want. Romanticizing the whole idea of an independent space, it is still challenging for us to make use of it. This space poses challenges to what we understood and created till today and it demands something different - creates the feeling of being in a vague slippery area. It might be an essential and seminal stage for every artist and writer to go through.
I am looking at this space suspiciously and conceiving the whole system most empirically because it is necessary to create a critical and analytical idea of the so-called back and white cubes of the present day art world. The established idea of commercial art galleries constitutes the artist, the curator, the dealer and the collector. The work of art is central to all, but in a different manner. For an artist it is his/her creative product, to a dealer it is a commodity and for collector it is an object of possession. In this whole scene, the position of the curator should be in a crisis and the commercial world can check his/her aspirations. So I am waiting like a spider patiently, to know how my dear friends will materialize their ideas and utilize this extremely rough black cube and in what extent this space will work itself.
The workshop is particularly interesting with the participants from interdisciplinary practices. Muthiah, the guy from Coimbatore is a student of Design, Pallavi completed her masters in painting from College of Art, Delhi, Kundo did her bachelors in fashion designing from NIFT, Praveen is a print maker working in the Space studio, Vadodara and Aarti Sunder finished her Diploma in painting from Mumbai. The Khoj guest house is a cosy place that has small square mirror windows, an inner courtyard and the white rough brick walls -all open an ambiance of interactions and casual talk. These days we spend most of our time in the studios and often keep our eyes on its roofs and corners, to visualize the display of works. We have big arguments and dialogues.
We are trying to achieve a new wave in the medium, think about art and non –art, and create a more informal experience of art which people can touch and smell.