Taken from French military terminology, it was understood for a century to signify the creative pursuits of several generations of Western artists --typically from Manet and Courbet in France to Pollock and Rothko in America-- that broke with the Renaissance legacy..
The word loosely translates as a kind of informal chit-chat.
An adda has no predetermined topics, no apparent logic of progression, purpose or time limit; conversations change course arbitrarily, seemingly unrelated topics come and go and time seems to halt in a perpetual present.
I was requested to propose a topic for discussion, so I suggested a conversation about the lack of experimental drive in Kolkata’s contemporary art...
[..more]uring conversations about installation, I have often heard Indian artists insist that the West has, only in the recent decades, merely intellectualized something that has been part of the Indian heritage for centuries.
Too much investment in adda is often criticized as unproductive idling, which it indeed is.
And yet, historically, immensely productive adda isn’t oxymoronic at all.
Artists are invited to offer their images for display in the .
All this is completely free of charge (though, if participation swells in the future, the site’s maintenance may require a nominal one-time uploading fee, just like people at a thek often chip in for tea or snacks).
Until the last decade or two, with the exception of a handful of venues like the Calcutta Coffee House and college cafeterias (called “canteens’ in India), an outdoor thek had been frequented almost exclusively by males.