A pop-up space · alternate-or-so
: in-progress :
: simultaneously :
: at-the-onset-of :
: thinking-about :

first draft is an alternative space/playground/exercise, initiated in 2018 by a group of artist-friends as a series of pop-up shows to display works-in-progress, as [first] drafts. The show ‘pops-up’ for a day or two, in a non-commercial/make-shift space as an impromptu insertion, appearing and disappearing in no time. It is self-curated by different groups of artists each time, who display their experimental and initial ideas, something unlikely for a curated gallery exhibition, challenging the conventions of displaying works of art/ exhibition-making.

: What does it mean to display works-in-progress, and moreover its intentionality, since a work can never reach completion? first draft explores and delves on this shifting intentionality.

: We started in February, 2018 with the first iteration at NIV Art Centre, Delhi, with a group of five artists- Tatjana Henderieckx, Charlot Van Geert, Priyesh Gothwal, Priyank Gothwal and Sonam. Each displaying their preliminary ideas, like rough sketches that they planned to work on further (/not). This exercise served as a ground to play and explore the effects and potential an idea holds when it’s materialised, derived from the conversations with peers and the audience.
: The second iteration also took place before the pandemic, in July, 2019, at Sonam’s residential space in Vasantkunj, Delhi, with works by Sonam, Priyank Gothwal, Priyesh Gothwal, Divya Singh, Suvani Suri and Neeraj Patel.

: The third pop-up in 2023 was by Akshay Sethi, Anarya, Sumedha, Priyesh Gothwal, Priyank Gothwal and Sonam, at Sonam’s residential space in Delhi.

Some images from the second pop-up show:

In the ongoing interventions as first draft·ings, we are creating a space to gather, share, eat, drink, chat, play, rest, recuperate and perhaps create (/not) while repositioning/reimagining/redrafting the conversations around art making and shared thinking. They shape through a pre-decided prompt given to the participants that become a lubricant to carry the conversations and build shared energies and intimacies, like bring an object, page, sound/video clip, anecdotes/references on ‘walking’, ‘time-difference’, ‘callscapes’, ‘city as space’, ‘relation to the night-sky’ and others.

In these iterations we gather with a small group in an intimate and safe space of slow gatherings. The conversations could sprout into more connections and extensions, whereby we don’t necessarily create, yet being open to any residual form that is left behind and/or taken forward- as collaborations, artworks, writings, whatsapp groups, recipes, plants, a walk and so forth. The gathering is open to individuals from all fields through open calls with a specific prompt to come together. These gatherings are conceived with art practitioners- Priyank Gothwal, Priyesh Gothwal, Anarya and Akshay Sethi.

Visit here to check about the ongoing gatherings and pop-up shows. 

Refer to the document below for a comprehensive documentation of first draft’s practice: