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Transforming space

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When the Sarai Reader 09’s second chapter opened last week, the exhibition space was once again transformed into something new and exciting. Each of these exhibitions will unfold as a process generative of visions, concepts, speculations and projections which, in turn, make room for heresy, for new modalities of being, for exchanges, relays and interferences.

Curated by Raqs Media Collective and presented by Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, the exhibition attempts to bring various methodologies and art practices together over a nine-month period. Raqs’ emphasis on growing an exhibition organically within a particular space will shape the gradual appearance of the show, which will grow over the next nine months, with contributions from as many as 100 people from different fields.

Sarai Reader 09 takes its name from the journal co-edited by Raqs. It also draws on ideas that Raqs has worked over the last decade at the Sarai media lab, which the collective co-founded. In late June, a call for submissions was sent out and entries from artists all over the country started pouring in. To prepare the ground, Raqs invited architect Sayantan Maitra to design or “respatialise” the galleries in a way that would push people to engage with space while conceptualising a work of art. For instance, for a projection room to screen a growing collection of amateur films, Maitra created seats with different heights and dimensions. One of the galleries was converted into a reading room using metallic frames covered with fabric, net and felt to create a free-flowing curve, while a “sound room” was fashioned to give one the impression of being in a labyrinth.

The second episode titled Sarai Reader 09: The Exhibition and supported by The Royal Norwegian Embassy, New Delhi, started with an evening of the spoken word expressed through music, poetry, readings, rehearsals and games starring Gayatri Chatterjee, Jyoti Dhar, Dayanita Singh, Himali Soin, Anousha Rizvi, Suman Sridhar, Ayesha Hameed, Zuleikha Chaudhari and Meena Kandasamy. Over the remaining months, Sarai Reader 09 will gather works from artists, researchers, scholars, curators, critics, filmmakers, writers, performers, dancers, musicians, archivists, architects, poets, journalists, and more.

SWATI DAFTUAR

Sarai Reader 09

Where:The Devi Art Foundation, Sirpur House, Sector 44 Gurgaon

When:Till April 15, 2013

Bottomline:The exhibition attempts to bring various methodologies and art practices together over a nine-month period.


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