Draft – Conference at Studio-X Mumbai

Khanabadosh and Institute for Contemporary Art Research (IFCAR), Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), in cooperation with Connecting Spaces Hong Kong – Zurich, present Draft, which collectively considers how contemporary art can initiate, invoke and contribute to public debates. A year-long undertaking, the project opens with a three-day conference in Mumbai, and is anchored in Cairo, Cape Town, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Zurich, and Mumbai.


The conference, and subsequent project, will convene a cross-disciplinary crew of artists, curators, theorists and anthropologists from these nine cities, and will engage with critical discourses and practices in relation to the public sphere.

Draft encounters and tests public spheres and the consequences of staking claim to them through contemporary art. In doing so, it chalks out the relationship between the seemingly disparate contexts of these cities that are, in fact, always intensely entangled.

This longue durée project is bookended by two conferences; the closing conference takes place in Zurich in the summer of 2016. In the critical interim, a range of engagements, including research and workshops, will be realised in each of the cities. Expanding on the conference’s discussions, they will set the pace for site-sensitive artworks, which will be realised in early 2016.

Draft is imagined as a kind of agent provocateur; exploring our reality by hinting at the possibility of what else could be. If no context can ever be truly exhausted, then each exploration is a renewal of the promise of debate.

Draft is not ‘about’ the city but it mobilises this complicated ecosystem as a springboard for thinking through an infinite spectrum of artistic and philosophical concerns including history, urbanism and political agency.

The project intends to do this in a transnational scenario of home-grown artistic interventions, which question the notion of identity in a world that is nothing if not hybrid. The project intends to do this in the scenario of public spheres, which question extant public spheres in an epoch where dissenting contexts are rife with the rumbling sounds of deep matter, deep memory and deep alienation.

Draft is a proposal because every context is equal parts potential, problem and provisional.



CAMP, Khanabadosh/Gitanjali Dang, Rupali Gupte and Prasad Shetty (Mumbai); Beirut/Sarah Rifky and Jens Maier-Rothe, Jasmina Metwaly and Philip Rizk, Alia Mossallam (Cairo); Chimurenga, Riason Naidoo, Jay Pather, Richard Pithouse (Cape Town); Sophie Goltz, Alice Peragine, Christoph Schäfer (Hamburg); Giorgio Biancorosso, Para Site/Cosmin Costinas and Qinyi Lim, Samson Young (Hong Kong); Helena Chávez Mac Gregor, Cuauhtémoc Medina, Teatro Ojo (Mexico City); Ju Anqi, Li Zhenhua, Iris Long (Shanghai); Chto Delat (St. Petersburg); IFCAR/Christoph Schenker, Rohit Jain, knowbotiq (Zurich)

Keynote Addresses

Reza Negarestani (Bridgeport) and P. Sainath (Mumbai)

Conference Moderated by

Ranjit Hoskote (Mumbai) and Lawrence Liang (Bangalore)

Artistic directors

Gitanjali Dang/Khanabadosh and Christoph Schenker/IFCAR


Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council
Connecting Spaces Hong Kong – Zurich

Supported by

artEDU Foundation, ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)
Venue Partner: Studio X Mumbai
Media Partner: TAKE on art Magazine