Grant Period: Over one year
Khoj International Artists’ Association based in Delhi is a key alternative forum for Indian artists as it has actively encouraged experimentation, collaboration and exchange through its residencies and workshops.
Established in 1997, Khoj has also been significant in linking Indian contemporary artists with artist communities in Asia, Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Americas. To celebrate ten years of its existence, the association plans to bring out a book highlighting its contribution to contemporary art practice in India and serve as a critical compendium of alternative contemporary art practice of the last decade.
Premised on a model of learning by exchange, Khoj's unique approach has, at a very fundamental level, played a catalytic and stimulating role in the context of contemporary art practice in the country. “... The art world is swamped by events and processes and we need to consolidate bodies of work and thought before they disappear from our mind screens. This publication will be a good archival tool to disseminate knowledge about contemporary art in the last decade,” says Khoj’s Director, Pooja Sood.
The publication will showcase the seminal work of over 80 Indian artists who have been through the Khoj workshops and residencies over the years. It will also map the thoughts and ideas of a generation of artists through a series of interviews of artists by artists. “…Through the workshops, artists learned about audiences for alternative and innovative art. This has allowed them to move beyond the commercial gallery network,” adds Pooja.
The publication will also contain lead articles by art critics and sociologists like Nancy Adajania, Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Rahul Srivastava. These pieces will critically examine Khoj’s contribution to both individual artists and the development of the alternative art scene in India. At a time when state-supported art institutions are on the wane and the commercial gallery network seems to be the only other viable forum for artists’, this publication will help to assess the scope, impact and importance of alternative forums such as Khoj within the context of contemporary art practice in India.
The book is slated for release in March 2008 at a performance art festival that Khoj is planning to organise.