Open Circle is a Mumbai based artists’ initiative, formed in 1998. At its inception, Open Circle aimed at creating a platform in Mumbai for interactions between artists at a local as well as global level, a space to share ideas of theory and praxis.Open Circle conducted its first program in Oct. 2000. This was an international workshop, a seminar and expositions in four galleries, with artists and theorists. This was followed by a series of study circles, interventions in public spaces such as poster and sticker campaigns, film screenings, designing, printing and disseminating T-shirts etc. in response to the current social and political happenings in India. Thus, since 2001 Open Circle concentrated on local and more immediate concerns. This narrowing of the focus was coupled with a widening of our scope by engaging with professionals and students from various disciplines other than visual art, as well as addressing the general public through activities in non - gallery spaces such as railway platforms, pavements, schools, colleges, suburban trains, promenades, bill boards, restaurants etc...
Open Circle does not really have a space and has worked all over the city, in collaboration with institutions or individuals or government spaces. In the past year(2005-6) They have rented a small apartment (area 500sqfeet )which functions as an office space. It is in a residential area and has a small kitchenette and toilet bath. The Oc library and videos archive are housed here. It also double up as a space for small interactions, workshops or gathering for about 20-25 people. A couple of artists have also done short residencies in the space in exchange of an interaction or workshop for Open Circle.
The Open Circle is a nonprofit organisation. It is supported by grants from funding organisations, corporate and individual donations or contributions by its members. Our Supporters include Stichting Intendence, Project RAIN, Doen, The Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam The Netherlands Prince Claus Fund For Development and Culture, Den Haag The Netherlands Netherlands Consulate, Mumbai India, Sethna Memorial Trust, Mumbai India. Chemould Gallery, Mumbai India, Directihosting.com, Mumbai India
Social and artistic disciplines
Screening of artist videos
Changing Currents a multi-media, cross disciplinary event featured a series of films / plays / talks / exhibitions / installations, highlighting issues connected with water, like the availability of drinking water, pollution, privatization of water, deforestation, radiation pollution caused by atomic power plants, destruction of coastal belts by five-star tourism, effects of big dams, disastrous fishing policies of technological modernisation and economic liberalization. Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.
Setting up of books, catalogues, magazines and video archive for students and interested public by appointment.
Open Circle (India), along with other artists’ initiatives- Pulse (South Africa), Trama (Argentina), CEIA (Brazil), Ruangrupa (Indonesia), El Despacho (Mexico), Centre Soleil d’Afrique (Mali), Art bakery (Cameroon) and Rijksakademie (The Netherlands), form the RAIN Network (www.r-a-i-n.net). Apart from working in their local contexts, the partners of the RAIN Network collaborate to facilitate South- South exchanges between cultural practitioners.