Communicating the Region: Institutional crossovers from S. Asia


CURATED BY Rahaab Allana

15 DEC
10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Old GIM, Ribander


Curated By Rahaab Allana

Over the last decade, there has been in a growing interest in S. Asia for its relay of transnational histories. Within and outside institutions in the country, there has been a tremendous wave on the one hand to enhance museum practices around visual cultures and on the other, enrich the lives of archives through an interplay with contemporary practice.

However, S. Asia reserves much to be explored as with many arts fora – fairs and festivals, residencies and grants, the outreach through newer forms of representation as well as newly produced or discovered archives relating to personal histories – there is therefore an emergent new contemporary culture of inclusion on the rise. The usual terms that govern either exposure, discourse or even material relevance have therefore dramatically changed, asking us, what is the place of contemporary South Asia within a global arts complex? How do we trace its contemporary histories and how can we enhance institutional collaborations that flow closer to regional mandates? Can there ever be a complete sync of global art markets, museum cultures and display initiatives which are aware of hierarchies of endorsement so that an alternative may be clearly shaped.

This day-long series therefore aims to address where popular cultures, education, exhibitionary practices and the ethics governing display spaces may meet in contemporary times in order to address broader questions about the place of our diverse cultures on the map of the world. It is also a forum to share what institutions find compelling about the material from the region, why they would prefer to showcase particular content, and the challenges of showcasing it to audiences outside Asia. At a time when our dialogues merge as much as they remain bound to space, how can we broaden our inclusion of other fields, merge the practices of artists and institutions from across the world, and create a more critical place for gauging's media's effects on these spaces.

About Panelists/Presenters

Deepali Dewan is the Dan Mishra Curator of South Asian Arts and Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. She is an associate professor in the Department of Art at the University of Toronto and affiliated with Centre for South Asian Studies. Her research interests span the history and theory of photography, colonial and nationalist visuality, and contemporary art in South Asia and its diaspora. She is interested in thinking about archives and the production of knowledge; how meanings change over time; and how visual forms provide insight into historical and contemporary experience. Most recently, she guested edited the issue on ‘Family Photography’ in the Trans Asian Photography Review (Fall 2018).

Shai Heredia is the founding director of Experimenta, the moving image art biennial of India. She has curated programs worldwide including at the Berlinale, Germany, and the Tate Modern, London. Her award-winning films I Am Micro (2012) and An Old Dog’s Diary (2015) co-directed with Shumona Goel have received critical acclaim and been exhibited widely. As a grantmaker with India Foundation for the Arts, Heredia set up the Arts Practice and Curatorship programmes. She is currently the Programmer of the 65th Flaherty Seminar (NYC). Based in Bangalore, Heredia teaches at the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology.

Sharmini Pereira is an independent international curator. She is the founder and director of Raking Leaves and the Sri Lanka Archive of Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design. In 2017 she was appointed as Chief Curator, Lionel Wendt Memorial Fund Collection, Colombo. Selected curatorial projects include: ‘One Hundred Thousand Small Tales’, Dhaka Art Summit, Dhaka (2018); ‘Seven Conversations’, Saskia Fernando Galllery, Colombo (2015); ‘Garden of Ideas – Contemporary Art from Pakistan’, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2014); Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai (2011), Singapore Biennale (2006), and ‘New Approaches in Sri Lankan Contemporary Art’, National Gallery Colombo (1994). Her writing has appeared in Marg, South East of Now, Mousse, Guggenheim online, Art Asia Pacific, Groundviews and Imprint amongst others. She was a judge for the 2017 Geoffrey Bawa Award for Architecture and currently lives and works in Sri Lanka and New York.

Once a boarder at the Villa Medici, in October 2014 Sam Stourdzé became director of the Rencontres d’Arles. Previously he was director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne and, from 2010 through 2014, editor-in-chief of ELSE magazine. A specialist in images, he researches the contexts of their production, distribution and reception. For years he has studied the mechanisms at work in the circulation of images, with the relationships between photography, art and film as his preferred field. He has been curator or co-curator of numerous exhibitions and published several works, including Le Cliché-Verre de Corot à Man Ray; the Dorothea Lange and Tina Modotti retrospectives; Chaplin et les images; Fellini, la grande parade; Derrière le rideau: L’esthétique Photomaton and Paparazzi! Photographes, stars et artistes.

Dr Mark Sealy MBE, is a curator, writer and cultural producer with a special interest in the relationship between photography and social change, identity politics and human rights. Since 1991, Sealy has been the director of Autograph ABP, the London-based non-profit photographic arts agency dedicated to highlighting issues of identity, race, representation, human rights and social justice. Autograph produces publications, exhibitions, supports residency projects and commissions new work by artists primarily using media of photography and its expanded applications.

Clara Kim is The Daskalopoulos Senior Curator, International Art at the Tate Modern where she is responsible for the research and acquisition of art from Africa, Asia and Middle East; and serves on the steering committee for the Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational. She recently organised the conference Axis of Solidarity: Landmarks, Platforms, Futures and is currently working on the 2019 Turbine Hall commission with Kara Walker and a survey of Steve McQueen in 2020. Recent exhibitions include ‘Imagined Nations / Modern Utopias’ for the 2018 Gwangju Biennale and ‘Condemned to be Modern’ as part of the Getty Foundation’s PST: LA/LA initiative in 2017. She has sat on juries for the Sundance Film Festival, Creative Capital Foundation, Hugo Boss Asia Art Award and United States Artists; and has held curatorial positions at the Walker Art Center, REDCAT and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Yasufumi Nakamori is Senior Curator of International Art (Photography) at Tate, where he leads on the development of its international photography collection and on the program of photography exhibitions and displays at Tate Modern. An expert in the relationship between photography and architecture, in particular, the impact and development of the Bauhaus discourse in Japan, he authored Katsura – Picturing Modernism in Japanese Architecture: Photographs by Ishimoto Yasuhiro (2010), which received a 2011 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award from the College Art Association. He has authored essays in numerous exhibition catalogues, including Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965 (2016).

Photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam set up Drik, Pathshala, Chobi Mela and Majority World, and photographed Time Magazine's ‘Person of the Year 2018’. His work has been shown at Museum of Modern Art New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall, Tate Modern and Museum of Contemporary Arts Tehran. A guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery, National Art Gallery Malaysia, Musee de Quai Branly and Brussels Biennale and Auckland Festival of Photography, Alam’s numerous awards include Shilpakala Award, the highest state honour given to Bangladeshi artists. He was the 2018 recipient of Lucie Foundation Humanitarian Award and the ICP Special Presentation Award in 2019.

Image: Weapons of mass destruction, Payal Kapadia