In short, I will be running a 3MinuteStories (3MS) shop in a village in Himachal Pradesh for a month. What the heck is a 3MS shop? And what exactly would I be selling from my shop? Read on.
What can ‘arts’ achieve in the 21st century if it is taken out of its usual cosmopolitan setting and related dependencies? Shop Art / Art Shop (SA/AS in short) is a contemporary Arts event that is trying to explore answers to this question, by inviting 10-12 artists to do a one month paid-for residency in Gunehar, a small village close to Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The first SA/AS was held in 2013. This year (14 May to 24 June 2016) would be its second edition.
Loly – my dearest friend – is working for SA/AS and that’s how I got to know about the event / residency. She connected me to the other organizers, they checked out my 3 Minute Stories and soon, Frank – who leads SA/AS, asked me if I’d like to be a part of it. I jumped in. What did I need to do? Well, like the other artists (some of them are still being finalized I guess), I will be occupying an empty shop in Gunehar and will be creating, yes you guessed it right, “art-work”. 🙂
A painter or a sculptor or a fashion designer can possibly sit in a shop and create stuff but what would a film-maker like me do sitting in a shop really? Edit movies on his laptop? Also, how do I exhibit my final work? Set up some TVs? What would be my final work anyway – a couple of 3 Minute Stories that I can possibly shoot in the village? I don’t have answers to all these questions. But hopefully, I will figure some of them out before I land up in Gunehar! More than anything else, it would be cool to keep checking out how the other artists proceed with their work. And of course, what they end up creating.
Of the four weeks that the SA/AS residency would be, the first three weeks would be for creation and the last week for exhibition. The exhibition is planned in a way that it not only demonstrates the end result of the artists’ work but also incorporates typical local ‘mela’ elements, such as concerts, screenings, discussions etc. to reach a broad cross-section of the society.
The SA/AS guys also plan to take some of the work created during the residency to different locations, galleries etc. around the world in a modified and actualized version in a series of follow-up exhibitions. Let’s see how my 3 Minute Stories does on that! 🙂
Will keep you guys posted on how things shape up! For now, pretty excited.
PS: the feature image is a photograph I took in Himachal Pradesh last year end. More photographs here.