Roobina Karode will discuss the ongoing exhibition at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art showcasing Nasreen Mohamedi’s retrospective, ‘A View to Infinity’. She will be expounding on the curatorial choices she made in the shaping of the exhibition, the challenges she encountered and share her ongoing formulations on Nasreen’s distinctive art pedagogy and practice, her oeuvre and the trajectory of subliminal abstraction that she steered at a time when figural narration was predominant in India.
As her student at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda, and as her neighbour, Karode came to know the artist very closely through many interactions with the artist from 1977 to 1990. Having spent long hours at her studio-cum-home, she will be sharing the artist’s persona with the audience through personal anecdotes and rare insights registered by her into the self-evolving discipline of Nasreen, with regard to both, her art and life.
This presentation will introduce the field of social sculpture and connective aesthetics, and what this has to do with shaping an ecologically viable and humane future. It will reference the theory, practice, and pedagogy Shelley Sacks has developed over several decades, including its roots in Joseph Beuys, Rudolf Steiner, Goethe, Schiller, and Jung. It will also highlight other key sources from Ivan Illich, Paulo Friere and E.F. Schumacher, to Vedic and Buddhist teachings, including Gandhi, Coomaraswamy and Tagore.
These ideas will be brought to life by her work to create new language in phrases like ‘Sustainability without the I-sense in Non-sense’ as well as images and descriptions of her social sculpture projects like Earth Forum, University of the Trees and Exchange Values - her acclaimed social sculpture with small farmers and global consumers, which since 1996, has been in many venues around the world, including the Johannesburg National Gallery for the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002. The ‘connective practices’ and ‘creative strategies’ in these projects – concerned with the relationship between imagination and transformation, freedom and responsibility, and inner and outer work - explore different forms of ‘capacity building’ and of ways to be ‘agents of change’.
Her talk will also outline the work of the Social Sculpture Research Unit in Oxford Brookes University, how this sits in an institution, and its interdisciplinary graduate programs that enable practice-based research. Shelley Sacks, like Beuys, regards teaching as an artwork, and institutions like universities, as one of the places where ‘enchanters need to appear’.
Admission free and open to all
As an artist linguistically poised on the threshold between tradition and modernity, Ganesh Pyne was symptomatic of the 1970s modernist developments in Indian painting; however, his personal expression was also marked by the difference of individual distinction.
Through their stylistic and thematic concerns, his paintings become an index to the characteristic features of the art of the period. They reflect a keen consciousness of time, culture, ambience, socio-political conditions and individual identity, while situating the individual within immediate locale of one’s existence.
The Himmat Workshops were a response to external as well as internal conflict, and therefore situated as much without the studio as within. To situate art within a zone of devastation is to test its capacity for survival in extreme conditions, but for the same reason, also gives rise to some rare insights. It provides a framework that enables investigation, and answers questions regarding responsibility, function, and appropriate action within a given context – predicaments that are common to most disciplines and professions.
The Himmat Workshops is a research project (2002 - 2012) initiated by Vasudha Thozhur and supported by the India Foundation for the Arts and KHOJ International Artists’ Association. It involved collaborating with Himmat, an activist organization based in Vatva, Ahmedabad. The presentation is in conjunction with a comprehensive exhibition - Beyond Pain: An Afterlife - at Sakshi Gallery and Project 88.
Rummana Hussain's (1952 – 1999) politically aware, philosophically provocative, yet poetic and self-referential art presents to us a complex perspective of a lived experience. Since 1992, Hussain pioneered performance as a visual art form and worked progressively within a more feminist and conceptual vocabulary, creating some of the most important works in the field. Hussain has gained recognition for her category-defying work that incorporates performance, installation, sculpture, film and photography, challenging perceptions of what art can be. This presentation documents this history, representing the range of Hussain’s art that created a reflexive turn for the larger questions of identity and representation.