Communicating the Region: Institutional crossovers from South Asia


CURATED BY Rahaab Allana

Panelists/Presenters Clara Kim, Ranjit Hoskote, Sam Stourdzé, Shai Heredia, Navdeep Suri, Nathalie Johnston, Sanjeev Maharjan, Sai Htin Linn Htet, Natasha Raheja, Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall


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 South 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, South 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.



Panel 1: Means of Collaboration

Panelists: Nathalie Johnston, Sam Stourdzé, Sanjeev Maharjan

Panelists will discuss their own trajectories on how they have manifested collaborations in the arts, with specific reference to South and broader Asia, and what it has to offer to the cultural mandates in the contemporary, at large. With a focus on how institutions in South Asia can initiate, facilitate and manifest projects in the international cultural sphere, the panel would hope to create discussion towards a much more collaborative paradigm for the art world and gauge where South Asia rests in the minds of institutions within and outside the region.

Artist presentation: Mizanur Rahman


Panel 2: Forms of Collaboration

Panelists: Sai Htin Linn Htet, Shai Heredia, Clara Kim 

Artists and collectives will discuss how they have forged alliances and taken from allied arts practices in order to address questions of new media practice today. Shedding light on the various ways in which creative communities are formed and sustained, the panel would like to open up the institutional as well as artistic challenges surrounding collaborative work.

Artists' presentation: Irina Giri and Keepa Maskey


Panel 3: Ethics of Collaboration

Panelists: Ranjit Hoskote, Natasha Raheja, Priyanka Dasgupta and Chad Marshall

Local and international panelists consider how the future of collaborations can be poised to address the potent questions of marginalization, representation and support in the art world today. Looking at practices arising from local cultural contexts while also situating themselves in a global network of affiliations and cultural exchange, the panel would like to bring artists and institutional workers in conversation about the ethics and challenges of an emerging paradigm and new visual culture.

Artist presentation: Aamina Nizar


About Panelists/Presenters

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.

Ranjit Hoskote has been acclaimed as a seminal contributor to Indian art criticism and curatorial practice, and is also a leading Anglophone Indian poet. He is the author of more than 30 books, including, most recently, Jonahwhale (Penguin/ Hamish Hamilton 2018); and the monographs Zinny & Maidagan: Compartment/ Das Abteil (Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt/ Walther König 2010) and Atul Dodiya (Prestel 2014). Hoskote curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2011). He co-curated the 7th Gwangju Biennale with Okwui Enwezor and Hyunjin Kim (2008). Hoskote has curated three exhibitions for the Serendipity Arts Festival, Goa: Terra Cognita? (2016), Anti-Memoirs (2017), and The Sacred Everyday (2018).

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.

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.

Navdeep Suri has served as India’s Ambassador to UAE, High Commissioner to Australia, Ambassador to Egypt and Consul General in Johannesburg. He has also held diplomatic assignments in Tanzania, UK and the US and has headed the Africa and Public Diplomacy departments of the Ministry of External Affairs. After The Watchmaker and A Life Incomplete, he has translated Khooni Vaisakhi – a long poem written by his grandfather Nanak Singh in 1920 after surviving the Jallianwala Bagh massacre.

Harpreet Singh is a versatile artiste, who sings original musical compositions in Hindi, as well as, in regional Indian languages and dialects such as Punjabi, Bengali, Assamese, Rajasthani and Haryanvi.mHarpreet has gained critical acclaim for his light classical style of singing. His creative talent fuses both the modern and traditional when composing tunes to his own lyrics and for classical poetry that he loves. He is best known for creating musical scores to epic works of humanist poets like Kabir and Bulleh Shah. Credited for taking celebrated poets to the masses, Harpreet has also composed popular hummable tunes to words of poets such as Pash (Avtar Singh Sandhu), Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Nirala (Suryakant Tripathi).

Image: Weapons of mass destruction, Payal Kapadia.