AHCS Speaker Series | Sonal Khullar "Everyday Partitions: Contemporary Art and Exhibition Practice in South Asia"

Thursday, September 29, 2016 17:30to19:00
Arts Building W-215, 853 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 0G5, CA

"Everyday Partitions: Contemporary Art and Exhibition Practice in South Asia"

Abstract: In the exhibition catalogue Lines of Control: Partition as a Productive Space (2012), Iftikhar Dadi notes “the resurgence of artistic engagement” with the Partition of India in 1947 after its striking absence from the field of the visual arts for most of the twentieth century. Indeed the problem of borders, nations, and partitions has figured prominently in recent projects by Bangladeshi, Indian, and Pakistani artists that cite the historical legacy of the Partition to reflect on the present. This talk examines recent exhibitions of contemporary art – My East is Your West (Venice, 2015), This Night-Bitten Dawn (Delhi, 2016), and The Missing One (Dhaka, 2016)— that represented collaborations between artists, curators, and patrons in South Asia, and reconsidered the region’s relation to history and futurity. These exhibitions took up Partition as a method and material with which to probe the making and unmaking of place, identity, community, and society in contemporary South Asia. In so doing, they enacted an aesthetics and politics that rejects national-cultural models for artistic production and display, and articulates new forms of postcolonial and global citizenship.

BioSonal Khullar is an Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Washington. She is the author of Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 (University of California Press, 2015). She is currently ​at work on​ a book, The Art of Dislocation: Conflict and Collaboration in Contemporary Art from South Asia, which examines how collaborative art practice has emerged as a critical response to globalization since the 1990s​.​

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