Priyanka & Prateek Raja:
The sixth edition of Curators' Hub is taking place at the Experimenter Gallery space in Gariahat, kolkata. Like the previous editions, this year's hub will include presentations and panel discussions—the space where curators convene. The participating curators for the 2016 curators' Hub are Hand-Ulrich obrist, naman Ahuja, Rahaab Allana, giorgio Galleani, Maud Page, Ariana Pradal, Marta Smolinska and Natasha Ginwala. here we share our conversation with the powerful duo behind Experimenter.
What was your impetus for starting these dialogues in Kolkata?
Kolkata is an extremely culturally engaged city with the audience having the ability to cross-reference between disciplines and practices quite fluently. The decision of hosting the Experimenter Curators’ Hub in Kolkata was a natural choice in that sense. Also of course it is the city in which both of us grew up, and have a certain sense of understanding its historical role in shaping cultural aspects in the region and its current relevance in the visual arts amongst other forms of artistic practice. It was important to put this into perspective when we thought of the curators’ hub six years ago.
The other impetus to start Experimenter Curator’s Hub began with a simple recognition and realization that the art infrastructure is and continues to remain abysmal in our country. In the absence of the same, it is crucial that private organizations, in whatever their capacities allow fill that void in the interim, in the larger interest of the social and cultural fabric of the scene and the region. We are very happy to take this lead and are hugely indebted to all the partners who enable this to happen. We started with a simple idea, a basic need to discuss curatorial practice in India and the rest of the word and to bring that discussion to Kolkata and into the gallery.
When you started the Hub, did you expect it to get as much traction as it has? How has the local art community responded?
When we started the hub, we did not have any pre-determined expectations out of it, only feeling the urgency to have these discussions and conversations. An amazing range of exhibitions and curatorial interventions are being mounted all over the world and in India and there was no forum to take a step back, add a pause or a punctuation to revisit those curatorial decisions, think about those astonishingly thought out exhibitions and we felt the urgency to create a platform to share these practices from around the world.
It was also for our city, which needs a fresh view into contemporary art and that remains one of the hub’s key goals. The curators’ hub provides an unparalleled opportunity to interact, converse and even debate with the invited curators, without any hierarchical and other structures that restrict access. The local artist or an art college student, people from the art viewing community in the city [and that's the most empowering aspect of the hub] can sit beside a curator of some of the most ambitious and important exhibitions in the world and have a real conversation with the person, ask about his/her reasoning behind decisions and conceptual or other curatorial practice related questions with free access and without hesitation.
MORE IN Art
I was born in Bangladesh in 1983 and I studied at the Pathshala South Asian Media Institute in Dhaka,
I Have to Feed Myself, My Family and My Country
Hit Man Gurung, Artist
There’s a story to those yellow helmets that bob up through the street, building our homes even
Shetty’s Shunya Ghar, a mammoth installation made with found wood, coupled with an hour-long film based on the eponymously titled
Despite having spent her years of her career using photography to document the lives of her Indian American family and
Photographer, Fake Holidays
Making memories on the road, breaking routines, carving new experiences makes you happy. Whether you’re travelling for work or
Artist with a Camera
People, Communities, Landscape might be part of his repertoire but at the heart of it, the entire
Mishcat Co, Design House
Following a degree in interior architecture, when Ishrat Sahgal returned to Indian shores from The States, it
A white oxford shirt reinterpreted with a diaphanous accordion detail; a monochrome jumpsuit with a cape for an accent; an
Ishaan Nair, Director
The new director in Mira Nair’s family, Ishaan has been working after his degree in direction and
All That We Want - The Gaysi Zine
The fifth edition of The Gaysi Zine embarks on a journey to explore the unchartered realm of queer desires, and
All around the world, fireworks are synonymous with celebration. People from different parts of the world may speak different languages
Rush by Mali
When Maalavika Manoj aka Mali started strumming her own tunes she found inspiration in long-lost friendships, memories of home and