The idea of Khoj began in 1997 as a gift of possibility given by Robert Loder (the visionary founder of the Triangle Arts Trust)
At a time when Indian artists felt isolated and unsupported, Khoj provided the possibility for young practitioners to create an open-ended, experimental space for themselves on their own terms. Khoj would be space where they could make art independent of formal academic and cultural institutions and outside the constraints of the commercial gallery.
It offered the chance to establish international networks without institutional support
The rapidity of change in the years since Khoj’s founding has not left it unmarked. With no models to emulate, Khoj, as an ‘alternative’ space for contemporary art practice, has traced a distinctive, if sometimes lonely, course.
It has been a journey of shifting definitions – a freedom ‘from’ and responsibility ‘towards’
From its modest beginnings fifteen years ago as an annual workshop, Khoj has built an international reputation for outstanding alternative arts incubation. Today, Khoj plays a central role in the development of experimental, interdisciplinary and critical contemporary art practice in India, constantly challenging the established thinking about art.
South Asia Network for the Arts (SANA)
Through active resource – sharing, Khoj has catalysed communities of artists and ideas into networks in Indian and south Asia. Khoj has researched, initiated and facilitated the South Asia Network for the Arts (SANA) since 2000. This network has articulated interactions between diverse groups of artists, geographies and cultures.
Vasl, Karachi, Pakistan
Theertha, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Britto, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Sutra, Kathmandu, Nepal
From 2007-2011, Khoj supported three not-for-profit artist led initiatives in different parts of India leading to the formation of a National Network. Khoj has expanded the sector by encouraging the development of experimental practice across India. The following organizations were part of the National Network :
Khojkolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal
Desire Machine Collective, Guwahati
KEY MOMENTS IN THE KHOJ TIMELINE
1997 First Khoj International Workshop, Modinagar
2002 Khoj International Workshop acquires a building in Khirkee Extention
2003 Annual ‘PEERS’ Student Residency begins
2008 First Khoj LIVE International Performance Festival
2010 Annual ‘Negotiating Routes’ Public Art Residency begins
2010 Khoj Book Launch
2011 Hans Ulrich Obrist Interview Marathon
2012 Khoj LIVE International Performance Festival
2012 ‘Dus-Tak’ Community Arts Festival
2013 Renovated Khoj Building Opens
2014 Word.Sound.Power. collaborative exhibition with Tate Modern