An evening of art and poetry

An evening of art and poetry

Art residency

Come Wednesday evening and serene premises of Khoj Studios in Khirki Extension will be transformed into a vibrant space. The revelries will feature an architectural walk through the village, an exhibition and also a poetry reading session to announce the launch of — Open Studio Khirki, which is a collaboration between Khoj International Artists’ Association and Rustom’s Cafe and Bakery.

Artists Simone De Iacobis and Małgorzata Kuciewicz will take visitors on a neighbourhood walk-through that will look at the ignored architectural marvels hidden in the narrow lanes of this area in south Delhi.

“Jaali panels, space frame structures, chaajja (roofs) and “shade step tectonics” are just some of the features we are going to explore in an hour-long tour all over the meandrous low rise-high density structure of Khirki,” says Iacobis who lives and works in Warsaw, Poland.

According to Kuciewicz, Khirki is a sample of reality, a “village” among other villages, a fluid “rurban” (rural-urban) context. “It contains an array of well known, formal, informal and formalised solutions that are representative of Delhi as a whole. Once you get past the visual spectacle, it offers ‘jugaad’ and the aesthetics of urban decay and also offers room for a thorough observation of pure architectural elements,” she says.

While the walk-through will take place at 5 pm, inside Khoj Studios, there will be artworks by Iranian artist Hoora Soleimani and Hyderabad-based Indian-Iranian artist Soghra Khurasani. This exhibition has been brought together by Kooshk Residency in Iran and Khoj as part of a new exchange program between Tehran and New Delhi.

“I’m into three projects: First is a video-based approach, second is photography-based cultural and religious comparison of women’s freedom in these two countries, and the third one will be a drawing and interview-based study of labourers in Delhi,” says Soleimani.

During her residency, Soleimani intends to explore ‘power shows’ or weightlifting competitions, which take place around India. In her previous body of work, she has explored the form of a human body under duress of lifting weights through painting and photographs.

She visits power shows and interviews participants and viewers, asking them to define the words “weight”, “pressure”, and “absurd”, as it is experienced by them in their own lives.

She invites her subjects to share their stories, ideas, experiences, forms, paintings and other unknowns, which she translates into her body of work.

A poetry reading session by Akhil Katyal is the third element of the evening. The idea behind the series is to showcase both well-known and upcoming poets and writers, while promoting the shared space within the studios as a gathering for great conversation and food.

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