|  | 6.30pm | Auditorium, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai

Karin Zitzewitz’s 'The Art of Secularism: The Cultural Politics of Modernist Art in Contemporary India' addresses the entanglement of visual art with political secularism. The crisis in secularism in India is commonly associated with the rise of Hindu nationalism in the 1980s. A variety of commentators have noted how the Hindu nationalist movement made innovative political use of iconic images associated with Hindu mythology, challenging the relationships between modernism, national culture, secularism and modernity that had been built since India’s independence in 1947.The Art of Secularism describes how that political shift radically transformed the terrain of modernist art, which had often drawn upon religious iconography as a largely secular form of national culture.

In this talk, Zitzewitz examines how three renowned modernists, M. F. Husain, K. G. Subramanyan, and Bhupen Khakhar, grappled imaginatively and very differently with the re-enchantment of signs. Her research attests to the depth and range of modernist experimentation with secularity in India, but also the unequal freedom that artists have to use religious iconography in their work.

Admission free and open to all.

 |  | 6.30pm | Auditorium, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai

The talk compares Western theories of artistic creativity with those of the Hindu tradition. The focus of Western theories has been the creative person. Psychoanalysis continued this tradition by emphasizing the biographical roots of creativity, tracing its source to the creative person’s emotional conflicts and highlighting the therapeutic function of creativity. There is recently a shift from the psychological to the biological in that the special nature of the creative person’s cognitive and perceptual processes are receiving greater attention. Indian foundational texts on creativity, on the other hand, do not concentrate on the personality of the creative artist that needs to be transcended for the creativity to flower. Creativity arises from his or her participation in a transcendent-spiritual unconscious. Kakar then looks at an anthropological study of traditional painters and the views of Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the greatest creative genius produced by India in the last two hundred years, to discuss the contemporary relevance of the traditional Indian view of creativity.

Admission free and open to all.

 | 6.30pm | Space 118, Mumbai

Geographies of Consumption | Bombay/Mumbai, is a public art project conceived and curated by the Mohile Parikh Center. It critically investigates the impact of consumption on natural resources in the city, and on human bodies, our ecosystems and cultures. Interspersed in the project are study groups, screenings, public lectures, an annual symposia, and publication.

It is a platform for diverse actors to discuss our ‘rights to the city’, igniting socially innovative ideas to enable a more farsighted approach to the environment in Bombay. Artists, geographers, urban researchers, architects, social scientists, environment management experts, students, and grass-root civil society organizations are encouraged to collaborate on creative projects for the city. Through the lens of urban consumption, fifteen public art projects will focus on the themes of Land, Water, and Food.

Production and consumption are deeply connected to processes of urbanization, their conditions and consequences. Across the 20th and 21st centuries, there has been a proliferation of urban areas across the globe. But has this urban turn, concentrated to cities, contributed to human well-being? The panel discussion will explore these questions through an interdisciplinary format, as a launch to the project.

Panelists: Shantanu Roy, Navjot Altaf, Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove | Discussant: Amrita Gupta Singh

Limited Seats. Admission free and open to all.