Saturday, August 3, 2013

Focusing on the museum as ‘Contact Zone’

A recent thematic presentation at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA) as ‘a site under construction’, tries to introspect on its contours in the specific contemporary Indian context and also in context of the Subcontinent. With 4 projects and 14 artists, it creates possibilities of alternate ways to produce, archive, remember and disseminate knowledge-systems.

‘ZONES OF CONTACT: Propositions on the Museum’, curated by Akansha Rastogi, Deeksha Nath and Vidya Shivadas, takes its cues from a relevant formulation of the museum by James Clifford, describing it as a meeting ground largely activated by the complex interplay of cultures and communities coming into contact and engaging with each other so as to construct memories, histories and social action itself.

Among the participating artists are Amar Kanwar, Chittaprosad, Arunkumar H. G., Masooma Syed, N. N. Rimzon, Naeem Mohaiemen, Rakhi Peswani, Ravi Agarwal, Ranbir Kaleka, Samit Das, Sudhir Patwardhan, Sheba Chhachhi, Sumedh Rajendran, Susanta Mandal, and Sunil Janah.

The 4 projects involved are:
- Bhopal: Memory, Movement and Museum (The Remember Bhopal Trust and Rama Lakshmi)

- Grazing (in collaboration with Abhishek Hazra, Prayas Abhinav and Kiran Subbaiah)

- Layout IV (M. Pravat, Sayantan Maitra Boka and Susanta Mandal)

- Sunil Janah: Ram Rahman Project
A curatorial note elaborates: “In the context of the museum - now imagined as an active, contested public sphere – exactly how is memory encoded and how does it create conditions for seeing, which also speak of the instability and subjectivity of that experience? The exhibition constructs a dense experience of collective themes: on the changing representation of labor; on social movements and archival practices; on construction as built space and built ideas; and on cultural networks.

The museum director, Roobina Karode, stated, “The exhibit spans an array of practices and generations of artists, to bring them together in a provocative relationship with each other. Witnessing and participating in the process of making of this show has been a journey, full of possibilities that the museum as a site opens up in South Asian context.”

The exhibit, privileging artistic process over the art product, allows for dialogue on tenuous issues of identity, visibility and belonging, and inflects on the roles and systems of art production that make these conversations possible. According to the KNMA chairperson, Kiran Nadar, “This is a unique collaboration between three young curators that offers significant insights into museum practice and different ways of collecting and archiving. It also engages with the technological landscape of its locational context at Noida.”

No comments:

Post a Comment