Sonal Khullar kicked off proceedings with her presentation Between Kaagazi (Papermaker) and Kabaariwala (Junk dealer): Books and Art in South Asia. Khullar noted that while conventionally, authors have not intended the reader to be conscious of the book’s medium, the format continues to be revered. She quoted Rushdie’s description of reading as embodied practice, his ‘habit of kissing books’ of all kinds and their role as vessels of desire – the power of the book reaching beyond its literal contents. Khullar considered this via several Indian films of the mid-20th Century, as well as through the role of literacy and the literate in non-literate contexts, where the book has functioned as an object of modernity and freedom. In a broader sense, books occupy the interstitial space between papermaker and junk dealer, their functions and significance not universal.
"TAKE precipitated a longtime dream to connect the stories and knowledge of artists, art historians, critics, curators, gallerists and administrators, without distinction, while evolving a language for art writing that could establish camaraderie between these various wheels that propel the arts forward. It eventually took form and took off into the art world’s orbit in 2009 with the mission to infuse conversation and discourse on the arts into the phantasmagoric shell that the boom had turned art into. TAKE was committed to being a platform for its readers and writers—far apart as they might be physically—to come together in the simultaneity of its pages. I wanted the journal to not just be the end result of the efforts of its contributors, but also be the friend and the mentor that I had sought while starting out—a witness and participant to coffee table discussions, tea stall banter and the wine and cheese of the white cube—in the formal, more accessible mode of a publication."
- Excerpt from the editorial by Bhavna Kakar