The Artsome team had a blast at the India Art Fair. Our researchers, curators and the Director herself all worked in perfect unison to put together a show that had us rolling deep in compliments. Even though our feet ached with all the walking, our voices cracked with all the talking and laughing and our heads muddled with all the coffee and late night panicking, we ended on a high when we got the brilliant reviews from those who took the curated walks with us, when artists appreciated our efforts and when we finally sat down together for our last coffee and cupcakes at our Artsome desk.
We are immensely pleased that our Curated Walks received such a positive response from our audience and we were most glad that we could reach out to so many people and enhance their experience of the fair. Attending by fifteen to twenty people each walk, cutting across demographics, we ended the fair by having met and interacted with over two thousand art enthusiasts, young artists, art historians and students which was an experience worth cherishing.
We set out with an aim of making contemporary art available to all and were humbled when people returned for another Artsome experience some taking all the five walks. We knew we were doing something right when there were innumerable requests for an extra walk on the last day, a particular lady suggesting she is “greedy and gluttonous” for another Artsome experience. There is a Bollywood term repeat value and a dotcom-era one called stickiness, which Girish Shahane the Artistic Director used to describe the India Art Fair experience and it would not be too vain or misguided to say that our Curated Walks had a repeat value and a stickiness quotient to them.
Our Napoleon Dynamite, Devki Modi conducted the “Looking Beyond the Canvas” walk exploring the radical mediums used by artists today through the works of Ranbir Kaleka, and Anita Dube among other artists.
The youngest amongst us Prapti Mittal took on the formidable task of historicising Modern Indian Art including a discussion on artists like Rabindranath Tagore, S.H. Raza, M.F. Husain and Anjolie Ela Menon.
A walk stunning and fascinating in equal parts “The World goes Pop” led by Ishita Kashyap caught everyone’s eye and imagination. International Artists like Stephen Knapp, El Anatsui and David Gerstein could not be missed and we made sure you did not.
The specially designed Art Projects curated by Girish Shahane aimed at exposing contemporary art practices caught everyone’s attention. Magnificent and interactive, like Francesco Clemente’s Taking Refuge and Anoli Parera’s Second Skin were explored by Divya Joshi.
Apart from the scheduled walks that took place three times a day we also organised curated walks for several private groups from Sanskriti School, American Embassy School, Pearl Academy, Pathways School, and innumerable VIP guests at the fair.
Artsome Director Anubha Jain deeply engrossed in conducting the Highlights Tour for students from Doha.
The vivacious Enakshi Sharma introduced the students from Sanskriti School to the political and social issues raised by contemporary artists like Subodh Gupta and Gigi Scaria.
And Ishita Singh discussed the Art Projects at the fair with a very lively group of students from American Embassy School.
We had some crazy times of loud exuberance and some fleeting moments of exhaustion and all this was recorded by our photographer Abira Bandopadhyay who captured herself in the most inconspicuous of ways like in the mirror of Daniel Buren’s work here.