• The Art Fair You Can’t Afford to Miss

    ICF Team

    February 8, 2018


    The coming weekend in the city will see Studio Khirki host The Irregulars Art Fair, an “anti-art fair” meant for independent artists to exhibit their works. The event, spread over three days — 9th, 10th, and 11th February, 2018 — is curated by Tarini Sethi, founder and curator at TIRAF, and Anant Ahuja, Creative Director of Bridge Studios.

    The factory being refurbished for the art fair | Image Courtesy: TIRAF


    The art fair seems like a promising exception in its approach to the space allotted to the artists. The exhibition is in an old factory, where each artist is given complete freedom to design the space assigned to them. Right from the colour of the walls, the lighting, and the medium, the artists have the last say over how they want to present their works. This is different from art galleries and other rentable spaces for art shows, where the artists have only so much freedom over how they want to present their works.  Tarini Sethi, one of the curators, commented, “For three weeks, it’s been complete madness here, with artists coming in and working till 11 every night, working on their pieces.”

    A floor of the factory after being cleared | Image Courtesy: TIRAF


    Sethi does an excellent job as a curator, choosing to engage in a dialogue with each artist to understand what space will work best for them, instead of using a heavy hand.  She explained the process, saying, “The artists, first, send in their proposals. I then work with them to figure out which part of their work makes sense here and what would be a good space for them. Beyond that, it’s on them, how they want to use that space.” The result is a massive three-storeyed exhibition spanning multiple genres.

    “Throughout the four days, we have live performances, mostly dances and music performances of difference kinds. The artists who are exhibiting in the basement are, mostly, has visual artists; you know, paintings, photographs, and prints. The ground floor is for installations that are being created for this space; they’re mostly site specific installations. For the last four weeks, we’ve also had muralists coming in to paint; there are about five murals in this space. First floor has some performance installations. These won’t be happenings throughout the show, though. It’ll basically be 15 minutes every hour. There are two entire rooms for dark room installations.”

    A view inside the factory building | Image Courtesy: TIRAF


    There is also a line up of films that will be screened throughout the art fair. You can get a list of the films from the event's facebook page.

    The Irregulars Art Fair seems like it could, potentially, have a massive impact on the art scene by democratising it and opening it up to a wider audience. For one, its location itself, an abandoned factory in an urban village, makes it more accessible to a wider section of society than, say, art galleries, which are accessible only to the upper and upper-middle classes. The nominal fee that the artists have been charged also gives independent artists an opportunity to exhibit their work without having to pay exorbitant amounts for a show. If successful, the event could revolutionise the art scene in the city.

    You can book your tickets for the event here.


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