Fix an appointment, walk around and chat with the artists over a cup of coffee… W-113 reinvents the traditional notion of gallery.
There is a home in New Delhi’s Greater Kailash area that is open to everyone. Should you want to; you can stop by and take a look around. The living room is like any other living room, with a few minor additions; a series of pictures dated 1979 by Pablo Bartholomew, Shanthamani M’s charcoal sculpture titled Icarus/Jataya, a video by and of Apnavi Tachker and her work. Clearly, W-113 isn’t just another house.
A year ago, French photographer and curator Anne Maniglier and artist Julien Segard met at a residency called Sandarbh. Since then, Anne has worked for Segard, representing his work in India and Europe. Julien lived at W113 (a regular flat with two bedrooms) for two years, and has already had two shows here. Anne thought of doing the same.
“The idea came after a very mediocre and unprofessional experience with a gallery in Delhi and also because it takes too long to have shows with galleries as an artist or as a curator,” says Anne. She believes that “curating is like writing or exercising, the more you practise and the more you explore…the better you become”.
Anne has curated shows in Delhi before, including Lado Sarai’s Latitude 28, but this is the first time she has opened her house to art and art lovers. You have to call her, let her know you’ll be coming, and then show up at the given time. You can walk around, discuss the pieces with her or the artists, if they happen to be visiting too, and have a cup of coffee. Though untitled, Anne and Julien have decided to call the exhibition W113, after their address.
The show features both Indian and foreign artists from around the world, including Rachel Cunningham, Hemant Sareen, Akshay Singh Rathore, Sumit Baudh and Jose Abad Lorente.
The house, right now serving as a gallery too, was formerly a doctor’s house and features two large living rooms as well as a corridor. The space is just right for hanging medium to large canvases. A spare room in the house is used by Julien as a studio.
An unusual idea, Anne’s home gallery has received many positive responses. “People reacted very well, they come have coffee or tea and ask questions, read one or two catalogues, interact with one of the present artists”. Anne tells us that Apnavi Tachker has already visited from Mumbai a couple of weeks ago and recorded a video which shows her talking about her work. “It is as important for the artist to talk about their work to the audience, and often, the visitors don't have anyone to talk to in a gallery”. Shanthamani M from Bangalore has also given the show her charcoal sculpture that was on its way back from a museum in Tel Aviv and will now go to a Paris gallery. The show features both Indian and foreign artists from around the world.
“As a curator, it is important for me to show various works, trying to open the mind of people, I brought from my last trip to Israel, two amazing videos that were graciously given to me by Guy ben Ner and Nira Pereg as a ‘pedagogical’ tool “.
Anne believes that it is the free spirit of this enterprise that is the key to its success. “Nobody gives a lesson to anyone here, we are art lovers, art practitioners and we share our love for experimentations and collaboration and experimentation of different spaces outside the existing white cube norm.” Anne hopes to include performers and dancers in the next show.
W113: House exhibition
Where: W-113, Greater Kailash I, New Delhi
When: Till February 28, 2013
More details: Call 9987869698 to make an appointment between noon and 4.00 p.m.