The idea was formulated on the back of an airline airsickness bag. The annual India Art Summit, started last year by 10 people, has steamrolled into an event of international significance. International galleries now make India their holiday destination spot for the summer. Sitanshi Talati-Parikh gets the organisers to recount what it takes to put together an event of some consequence
Delhi-based associate director of the India Art Summit, Neha Kirpal,
describes a ‘normal’ day
7:30 a.m. Woken up by Gayatri Sinha (art curator)
to discuss one of the billion aspects of the project. P.S. I am not
a morning person.
8:00 a.m. Getting ready for work while on a conference
call with NGMA director Rajeev Lochan; a media interview about the state
of the economy and the art scene with IANS; a quick bite in the car
while looking over a press release announcing our 34 global media partners
(the office is a five-minute-ride from home so that’s the time I have).
9:30 a.m. On the phone talking to people in the East:
important fair directors, museum representatives and galleries in Hong
Kong, Phillipines, China, Korea, Tokyo.
9:45 a.m. Make a checklist for the day averaging about
70-80 tasks a day.
10:00 a.m. Meeting a potential sponsor for the seminar
10:45 a.m. Call a team meeting for advertising and
publicity plans: send off teams all over the city to put up posters,
negotiate with magazines for ads, blogs online, update Twitter, leave
a note on Facebook....
12:00 p.m. Negotiating with an art gallery owner about
how it is difficult to accommodate a 10 x 10 work in a 8 x 8 area.
12:30 p.m. Meeting Renu Modi at Gallery Espace, to
discuss…well, the state of the market, selling price points, artworks
being shown by them....
1:30 p.m. w It is 48 degrees and 20 people are working
in a pool of sweat. Also on site is a big discussion with the Subodh
Gupta about where his gigantic piece of art can be placed.
3:00 p.m. Running back to the office, looking at the
show catalogue. Pagination, page sequence, printer screw-ups, re-doing
4:30 p.m. Meeting with our projects’ curator to discuss
lighting in the sculpture park.
5:30 p.m. Conference call with Sotheby’s; collectors;
6:00 p.m. Meet Peter Nagy for coffee to discuss Nature
Morte’s show at the Summit.
6:45 p.m. Badges! 300 exhibitors badges, 60 speakers
badges, 800 VIP badges, 15,000 general visitors, 200 press badges....
7:15 p.m. Picking a shade of silver for the show catalogue.
How many shades of silver are there?!
7:30 p.m. A conference call with Art Tactic in the
UK – working on a daily art newspaper for the Art Summit.
p.m. Invitations, artist queries, reviewing contracts with
art publications, collaborations with art organisations like Art Asia
Archive for the dream museum project, thank-you notes and issues to
do with venue security.
8: 30 p.m. Review the Video Art programme proposed
for the video lounge. There are over 100 video artists being shown in
9:30 p.m. Talk to people in the West – it is their
time of the day now.
10:00 p.m. Next day’s checklist, and read assorted
media articles on the art world (we’ve got a company that tracks art
news on a daily basis nationally).
10:30 p.m. Just the beginning of a long night ahead,
preparing for another long day. Wait, I hear the phone ring....
The India Art Summit will take place between August 19 and
22 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Events include an international speaker’s
forum, a sculpture park, installations at The Purple Wall Project, a
video lounge and other satellite events across the city. For more details
Some numbers that are a part of the India Art Summit 2009
litres of white paint
sq m of concrete flooring
kilo watts of electricity
is the age-group of the core team
world-wide media publications
For Art’s Sake
Managing director of The India Art Summit, Sunil Gautam
(of Hanmer MS&L Communications), answers two questions
Art is stimulating. It’s something that brings out creative energies; it’s engrossing and captivating. This is also a field which has little in terms of organisation and structure, so it was a very challenging space to enter. And I like challenges!
We’re working very hard to promote Delhi as a cultural capital in the
Asian region. Around the world, this is being seen as India’s official
art fair, so it’s obvious to consider the national city. Plus, Delhi’s
got a very vibrant art market!
Verve points out another heavy-weight show worth checking
out this month
Take India to China and you can create a great artistic bridge – think
the exploration of issues related to cultural assimilation. If you happen
to be in Shanghai before August 30, you can proudly check out the likes
of Anju Dodiya, Chitra Ganesh, Hema Upadhyay, Jagannath Panda, Jitish
Kallat, Justin Ponmany, Mithu Sen, Reena Saini Kallat, Riyas Komu, Subodh
Gupta, Thukral and Tagra and Santhosh TV at The Museum of Contemporary
Art, People’s Park, 231 Nanjing West Road, Shanghai (www.mocashanghai.org).
to Verve Magazine or buy the Verve issue on stands now!