TAKE on art
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What are the mysterious ways in which the art world works? It is undeniably built upon commercial transactions and consequently the market. The circuit gives the impression that it can easily be mapped by defining networks that include the dealer, galleries, auction houses, collectors and museums. Yet it is not as simple as that. Not merely because the art world in its current form comprises much of non-collectible, site specific and performance art (whose traces have found ways to even be commodified to generate revenue) but also because it is a complex system that encompasses commissioning, funding, production, labour, specialised-labour, conservation, presentation, lighting, display, travel, documentation, archiving, criticism and curation that escapes the traditional channels that commodities that can be owned traverse. The ways in which art can be marketed does not reduce itself to billboards, commercials or advertorials - the idea itself seems absurd. Auction houses, galleries and art fairs probably indicate a straightforward economy, but throw in the proliferation of biennales, foundations, residencies, and funding agencies, and the possibility that one work can simultaneously access all these spaces, we have an alphabet soup, not a sure shot formula of demand and supply.
TAKE on art, the leading art magazine in India published bi-annually from New Delhi since 2009, comprehensively covers, reports and critiques art and cultural events from India and abroad. Led by Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Bhavna Kakar, TAKE follows a critical approach to the larger discourse on art through curated issues with contributions by leading writers and critics from across the globe. The magazine has been invested in sustaining critical writing practices in India not just through its own capacity as a publication but also by organising initiatives that try to generate discourse, and keep conversations alive. In the past, the publication has organised writing workshops under the TAKE on Writing series as well as hosted the TAKE TALK series. Significant projects in this direction include TAKE on Residency, in collaboration with IFA at 1 Shanthi Road, Bangalore in 2013, TAKE on Writing, Critic-Community: Contemporary Art Writing at Sunaparanta Centre for the Arts, Goa in 2014 and more recently, Take on Writing - Critical Writing Ensemble (CWE) Baroda Chapter at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda in December 2015 and the CWE Dhaka Chapter, conceptualised by Katya Garcia Anton, in collaboration with OCA, Norway at the Dhaka Art Summit in 2016 supported by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council. The most recent TAKE on Writing initiatives included The Book – The New Writing Group, a workshop led by Chus Martínez and Ingo Niermann supported by Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council and The Book – Ensemble, both held in New Delhi in December 2016. The magazine has travelled internationally to events such as Art Basel, Art Basel HK, Art Basel Miami, Dhaka Art Summit and Asia Triennale Manchester, as well as collaborated with landmark events locally such as Experimenter Curator's Hub (2011 - 2016), Insert 2014, Sarai Reader 09: Episode 1, 2 and 3, Amrita Sher-Gil National Art Week and Delhi Photo Festival.