RECENT


NOTICEBOARD

Kapila Vatsyayan (1928-2020): A Personal Tribute
by Ashok Vajpeyi
Celebrated Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi writes on the illustrious work and life of Kapila Vatsyayan.

21 Sep 2020

Singular Moments, Multiplying Meanings
by Urvi Vora
In conversation with theatre director and lights designer Zuleikha Chaudhuri, on reading the archive as performance.

21 Sep 2020

“Art has never come under one kind of worldview”: Gigi Scaria
by Critical Collective
CC interviews the artist on his visual grammar, fluidity in his practice and on artistic responses to our times.

21 Sep 2020

"Sometimes one stumbles upon an unexpected visual wonder": Prajakta Potnis
by Critical Collective
The artist speaks of the dichotomy between the inside and the outside, her fascination with domestic technology and the medium of radiology in her recent works.

21 Sep 2020

Ebrahim Alkazi : An Anachronistic Cosmopolitan Nationalist
by Parul Dave Mukherji
Remembering the ambitious visionary, a Renaissance figure whose passion refused to be defined by a single field.

24 Aug 2020

Photojournalism defined in the ways that we know it does not exist anymore
by Critical Collective
Prashant Panjiar on the changing landscape of photojournalism in India, looking for “nuance” in photography, and his curatorial interests.

24 Aug 2020

In Conversation with Vicky Roy
by Amrita Chakravarty
The photographer on challenging conventions, adapting to the changing nature of photography, and future projects.

24 Aug 2020

Interview with Thukral and Tagra
by Critical Collective
A conversation about art practice in the times of coronavirus and the digital medium as site.

24 Aug 2020


art history


CINEMA

Reminiscing the 70s Calcutta - In Conversation with Soumitra Chatterjee
by Priyadarshini Bhattacharyya
The actor recounts his popular and iconic films from the decade and reflects upon cinema of the time. (2020)

Transforming Spaces: Gem Cinema (Kolkata) as a site of artistic collaborations
by Madhuja Mukherjee
Of Single-theatres, Kolkata, and reinvention of abandoned movie-theatres into sites for artistic interventions. (2020)

The Enigma of an Arrival
by Sayandeb Chowdhury
How Uttam Kumar went on to redefine the template of the leading man and resuscitated Bengali popular cinema. (2020)

Tete-a-Tete with Sadhona Bose
by Sushila Rani
A candid interview with the actress on her life and vibrant career on stage and on the silver screen. (1942)

Saroj Khan: The Masterji Choreographer as Moving Archive of Bombay Cinema’s Gestural Histories
by Usha Iyer
A tribute to Khan and her remarkable career. (2020)

Cinema and the Traumatic Histories of the Contemporary
by Ira Bhaskar
On a quartet of films that engaged with ideas of nationhood, identity and community at the turn of the millennium. (2020)

The Wandering Madman: The Allegorical Kashmiri Figure in Indian Cinema
by Niyati Bhat
A look at films that highlight Kashmiri self-representation and lived experiences. (2020)

The Midlife Reinventions of Female Stars of Popular Hindi Cinema
by Nandana Bose
The author examines the transformation of female stardom and their navigation of a changed industry since the first bloom of their careers in the 1990s. (2020)


Lens Based Practices

Photo Synthesis: The Expatriate Family Album as Historiography
by Kamayani Sharma
"Family snapshots are examples of the way in which the material traces of intimate lives behave as sites of collective remembrance and archives of shared history" (2017)

Jyoti Bhatt: Portraits, Archer Gallery Ahmedabad
by Uma Nair
Artist Jyoti Bhatt’s parallel photographic practice reveals an abiding interest in portraiture, writes Uma Nair. (2020)

Architecture as Metaphor
by Mila Samdub
A recent photography exhibition in the capital cast a critical look at the legacy of modernist architecture. (2020)

The Camaraderie Between the Military and the Photographer
by Rishi Kochhar
An account of Bombay Studio in Akhnoor, Jammu. (2017)

Notes on Lens-Based Media, Practice and Pedagogy
by Ketaki Varma
A report on a two-day Photography/Education Symposium held in New Delhi. (2020)

Looking at How Women (Photographers) Work: A Review
by Suryanandini Narain
Engaging the vast, uncharted history of women’s lens-based practices. (2019)

Narrative of a Photographic Trip to Cashmere and Adjacent Districts
by Samuel Bourne
Excerpt from the photographer's commentary on his trip to Kashmir. (1866)

Emerging from the Shadows
by Sudipto Basu
On the familial Camera Obscura in Naeem Mohaiemen’s dui. (2019)


CC ARCHIVES

New Delhi
by Robert Byron
On the architecture and buildings of New Delhi, ahead of its inauguration as the capital of India in February, 1931. (1931)

The Religion of an Artist
by Rabindranath Tagore
In this essay, Rabindranath Tagore reflects on the role of the poet and the artist in explicating the ultimate reality through their works. (1936)

A Fragile Inheritance: Radical Stakes in Contemporary Indian Art
by Saloni Mathur
A link to the e-book, out now.

Invisible Natures - Art and Covid-19
by Ravi Agarwal
The artist and environmentalist contemplates the imbrication of both the novel coronavirus and contemporary art in capitalistic structures. (2020)

Why Statues Matter: The Changing Landscape of Calcutta’s Colonial and Postcolonial Statuary
by Tapati Guha-Thakurta
On the shifting casts and sites of Kolkata’s public statues. (2020)

A Letter to Judy Watson
by Rekha Rodwittiya
"The setting apart of myself to pronounce my individual self was a water-shed moment in my journey as a painter." (1995)

Gandhi Sangrahalayas
by Kshitis Roy
On Mahatma Gandhi memorial projects and the ideals governing his legacy. (1966)

Reminiscences of Taikan
by Abanindranath Tagore, translated by Kshitis Roy
"Taikan initiated me in the technique of line drawing with a Japanese brush... I used to tell him all about the technique of the Moghul school of painting." (1958)

MUSEUMS

"We need to find new ways of engaging the public imagination"
by Critical Collective
Tasneem Mehta speaks to CC about museum and conservation practices in the face of a global lockdown. (2020)

Framing the Grand Historical Narrative of Indian Cinema
by Damini Kulkarni
The NMIC frames cinema less as an art form and more as a national legacy, writes Kulkarni. (2020)

A Tryst with History
by Arundhati Chauhan
A survey of cultural projects and initiatives announced in the last few months that suggest a move afoot to overhaul India’s museums sector. (2020)

The Supreme Court Museum
by Ketaki Varma
"The museum traces the history of jurisprudence alongside a history of India itself," writes Ketaki Varma. (2020)

Demystifying Black Magic

"The museum serves as an important institution to legitimise the overlap of magic, ritualistic traditions and healing practices that form the core of Mayong's cultural history."- Kaustuv Saikia (2020)

Goa Chitra Museum: Preserving an Endangered Way of Life

Supriya Vohra examines a triad of museums preserving Goa's social and cultural history through a collection of everyday objects. (2020)

On Museology: VS Agrawala

"The highest ideal of a modern museum should be that of a cultural centre" - V.S. Agrawala (1966)

Prof. Ratan Parimoo: “Just by engaging with museum objects, one can learn a lot about Indian history.”

Director of the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum in Ahmedabad speaks to Sama Haq about the history and collection of the museum. (2019)


Curators and Exhibitions

Manisha Parekh: A River Inside (2020)
by Zeenat Nagree
Zeenat Nagree on Manisha Parekh's solo exhibition held at Jhaveri Contemporary earlier this year. (2020)

In Conversation with Raqs Media Collective
by Amrita Chakravarty
The curators of the latest edition of the Yokohama Triennale on thinking art and the exhibitionary through the lens of the spectrum. (2020)

Kochi Biennale in the Time of Covid-19
by Critical Collective
With the 5th edition slated to be held later this year, Rao and Krishnamachari on the challenges of curating in the midst of a pandemic. (2020)

CC Special: An interview with Ravi Agarwal
by Critical Collective
"I believe the world I live in is largely a matter of my own interpretation and perception" - Agarwal on his latest curation for the Serendipity Arts Festival. (2019)

Incubating Practice: Five Million Incidents
by Amrita Chakravarty
A year-long series of art projects at the Max Mueller Bhavan poses questions about the programming of art. (2019)

Back to the Future
by Amrita Chakravarty
An exhibition at the Shrine Empire Gallery engaged the idea of utopia in art practice.

“No Laughing Matter”: The Politics of Satire
by Ketaki Varma
Ketaki Varma reviews Common Course, an exhibition on political cartooning, curated by Roobina Karode.


artists

Haku Shah: Faith and Passion
by K G Subramanyan
“…Haku’s collections and documentations of singular aesthetic and educational valuedelight the eye and enrich the mind, at the same time.” writes the author. (1981)

‘Bhav, Bhaav, Bhavya’: Frames of Eternity: Manjit Bawa
by Madan Gopal Singh
On the aesthetics of Manjit Bawa's artworks reflecting the confluence of bhaav (phenomenology of being) and bhavya (that which unfolds). (1999)

I’m interested in perception and with how definitions get stretched or trespassed: Shilpa Gupta
by Vandana Kalra
The artist on the Venice Biennale, and issues of gender, identity and nationhood. (2016)

The Utopia/Dystopia of Prabhakar Pachpute
by Nadia Nooreyezdan
In conversation with the artist about his evolving trajectory of work and plans for the future. (2020)

Vivan Sundaram
by Akansha Rastogi
The author writes on the artistic legacy of Vivan Sundaram and on the pivotal role he played in consolidating the art fraternity, infrastructure and development of the arts in India. (2010)

A. Ramachandran
by Ella Datta
"Both as a painter and a sculptor, Ramachandran has established a new idiom in which man and nature share a symbiotic relationship that is unshakable and unbroken.” (2010)

“We do not want to create a monument of their misery” - Chandan Gomes
by Amrita Chakravarty
The photographer on his latest collaborative project, “A Good Riot”, and using Instagram as a site of documentation, activism and art. (2020)

Zarina: A Tribute
by Various
Nada Raza, Devika Singh, and Gayatri Sinha pay tribute to artist Zarina’s life and art. (2020)


Artists Groups and Collectives

Drifting Threads: Cholamandal Artists’ Village over fifty years
by Ashrafi S Bhagat
Ashrafi Bhagat traces the past, present and future of the Cholamandal Artists' Village in Chennai.

How to Feel a Leak?
by CAMP
CAMP elaborates on their work, THE RADIA TAP(E)S as part of The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York Triennial (2012).

CONA: Points of Reflection
by Hemali Bhuta
Hemali Bhuta on the founding of CONA as a pedagogical structure for artists.

New Group: In conversation with Amitava Das and Mona Rai at New Delhi, April 23, 2014

Amitava Das and Mona talk about the formation of the New Group in 1974.

The Calcutta Group - Its Aims and Achievements
by Prodosh Das Gupta
Prodosh Das Gupta highlights the premise of founding the Calcutta Group in 1940.

Indian Society of Oriental Art
by James H. Cousins


Artists Conversations

In Conversation with Vasudevan Akkitham
by Vaidehi Gohil, Bhakti Hattarki and Sasha Kalrani
The artist speaks about his practices and art pedagogy during the ‘Studio Practice’ session of the Fine Arts Fair 2020 for M.S. University, Baroda. (2020)

All that’s Solid Becomes Virtual
by Kaushik Bhaumik
A conversation on media, art history and what the "digital" means in art and cinema today. (2019)

IAF Conversations | A Traveller’s Life: Nilima Sheikh
by Sneha Ragavan
Artist Nilima Sheikh recounts the rich travel experiences that have informed her art practice. (2020)

“Humans are part of the same complex as the coronavirus”
by Gayatri Sinha
Sheba Chhachhi speaks to Gayatri Sinha on the idea of contamination in art. (2020)

"We are now discovering how limited and small our lives can be"
by Critical Collective
Mithu Sen speaks to CC’s Gayatri Sinha and Amrita Chakravarty. (2020)

IAF Lecture | Collective Learnings: Alternative Exhibitions in South Asia

Amar Kanwar in conversation with NayanTara Gurung Kakshapati. (2020)

Do revelations dethrone secrets?
by Michelangelo Corsaro
Curator Michelangelo Corsaro speaks to artist Pallavi Paul about her engagement with non-fiction and its intersection with other practices like technology, law and cinema

Facing India
by Uta Ruhkamp
An interview with Reena Saini Kallat against the backdrop of her recent exhibition in Germany. (2017)


ON GENDER

Telling Tales: Five contemporary women artists from India
by Jorella Andrews
A review of the exhibition by Ayisha Abraham, Rummana Hussain, Anita Dube, Sheela Gowda, and Pushpamala N. to commemorate fifty years of Indian Independence. (1988)

Feminine Identity and National Ethos in Indian Calendar Art
by Patricia Uberoi
The author examines the representation of women in Indian popular art. (1990)

Masculinities: Liberation through Photography
by Katyayani Sinha
A landmark exhibition at the Barbican attempts an expansive survey of a much-contested terrain. (2020)

Women Artists at the KNMA
by Amrita Chakravarty
A recent group of exhibitions explored an alternative tradition of abstract art in South Asia, as practiced by women. (2020)

Eunuchs in Mughal Household and Court
by Shadab Bano
A critique on the political hierarchies of the eunuchs serving the Mughal Emperors. (2008)

The Pavayas or Hijdas

A selection from the Gazetter of the Bombay Presidency. The essay documents social rituals and customs of the Pavayas, a community of eunuchs, in Gujarat. (1901)

A Year of Me Too in India: A Report
by Critical Collective
A recent meeting held in the capital took stock of developments and planned the way forward in the fight for gender justice. (2019)


AESTHETICS THEORY

Anandavardhana’s Treatment of Pratibha in Relation to Dhvani
by K. Krishnamoorthy
On the concept of Pratibha or creative imagination brought about by the agency of Dhvani. (1950)

Peculiarities in the Alamkara-Section of the Agni-Purana
by Suresh Mohan Bhattacharya
On the unique modes of treatment accorded to Alamkara and its constituent elements in the Agni Purana. (1960)

Studies in Dhvanyaloka, the Adivakya in Dhvanyaloka
by V.A. Ramaswami Sastri
On the importance of dhvani in communicating the essence of emotion inherent in poetry and drama. (1955)

Paintings and Allied Arts as Revealed in Bana’s Works
by C Sivaramamurti
The essay examines the aesthetics of painting and sculpting in the cannons of Classical Indian Art. (1933)

The Concept of Beauty in Fine Arts and Literature
by Prabhakar Machwe
In this essay, the writer unpacks the meaning of 'beauty' within the framework of aesthetic criticism. (1958)

Natya Dharmi and Lok Dharmi
by V. Raghavan
On the concept of 'dharmi' in Bharata's Natya Sastra. (1933)

Transcendence for the Siri-ocene
by 64/1
The authors outline a philosophy to recuperate Art for the future.

The Aesthetic Concept of Rasa
by K S Ramaswamy Shastri
The writer provides an account of the rasa theory of aesthetic emotion. (1928)


CURATING SOUTH ASIA

Contesting and coalescing voices from Dhaka Art Summit
by Mustafa Zaman
In its 5th edition, DAS invited the voices of different communities, giving them a chance to articulate in their own terms, the legacies of colonial/postcolonial modernity. (2020)

Lahore Biennale: ‘between the sun and the moon’
by Virginia Whiles
The second Lahore Biennale stages a polyphony of artistic voices weighing in on the shared cultural and political history of South Asia and the Middle East. (2020)

Bani Abidi: Funland

Curators Hoor Al Qasimi and Natasha Ginwala on a major survery of Bani Abidi's works exhibited at Sharjah Art Foundation. (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Nidhi Mahajan
by Gayatri Sinha
The curator on her installation-performance "Silences and Spectres of the Indian Ocean." (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Adrian Lahoud
by Gayatri Sinha
The curator of the first edition of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial on initiating a critical dialogue from "south to south." (2019)

Sharjah Diaries | In Conversation with Marina Tabassum
by Gayatri Sinha
Tabassum on her latest presentation, "Inheriting Wetness", at the inaugural Sharjah Architecture Triennial. (2019)

"in the absence of writing”: Oral Traditions and Historical Memory
by Najrin Islam
On the role of oral histories and embodied knowledge as chronicled by Astha Butail during her year-long journey across India, Iran and Jerusalem through sonic interpretations.

WHERE THERE's a WILL...
by Virginia Whiles
The Lahore Biennale 01: Shehr-O-Funn reviewed by Virginia Whiles.