first draft

first draft

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 an indefinite group of artists as a series of pop-up shows to display works-in-progress, as [first] drafts. The show ‘pops-up’ for a short duration, a day or two, in a non-commercial/non-artish/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 transitional intentionality.

: We began 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 potentials 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 a residential space (my terrace) in Vasantkunj, Delhi, with works by Sonam, Priyank Gothwal, Priyesh Gothwal, Divya Singh, Suvani Suri and Neeraj Patel.

: The nature of first draft is to keep mutating and remain in flux; it retains a porosity that not only absorbs but also sheds its own definitions with every step. What remains is the porosity itself, resting on the transient temporality of a pop-up & a draft, at the stage of always being in-progress. With the change of artists/creatives, new collectives form and dissolve building associations with more people.


In the ongoing interventions by first draft named as first draft-ings.. we are creating an offline space to gather, share, eat, drink, chat, play, rest, recuperate and perhaps create (/not) while repositioning/reimagining/redrafting the conversations around exhibition making. How do we imagine coming together and create + share/ display in the current times? With the migration into virtual meetings, ‘coming together’ has become a challenge requiring deliberation, the prospect itself brings anxiety to many.

In these iterations of the draft-ings, we gather in a small group of 6-8 people in an intimate and safe space of sharing, happening bimonthly for a short duration, a slow gathering of sorts. The conversations could sprout into more connections and extensions, whereby we don’t necessarily create, yet being open to any form of residue that is left behind and/or taken forward- as poems, songs, drawings, stories, notes, ideas, still/moving images, messaging groups, recipes, plants or a walk…
The gathering is open to individuals from all fields- an artist, musician, dancer, homemaker, poet, plumber, teacher, cook, banker, researcher, gardener, listener…. through a personal invitation or an open call with a prompt to play together with each iteration.

: For the 1/ first draft-ings.. people are invited with a prompt to bring an object to the table and share related stories: a potluck of #things.

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