Thursday, July 15, 2010

Somberikatte @ 1Shanthiroad Re-Look Lecture by Shivaji K Panikkar

Somberikatte @ 1Shanthiroad
RE-LOOK: Lectures on Indian Art

Gay Disclosure and ‘Realism’:
A Critical Re-reading of Bhupen Khakhar

a lecture by
Prof. Shivaji K Panikkar
- Independant art-historian, Baroda
Saturday 17 July 2010, 6:30 pm,
@ 1Shanthiroad Studio/Gallery, Bangalore

Gay Disclosure and ‘Realism’: A Critical Re-reading of Bhupen Khakhar
Crucial changes happen in the paintings of Bhupen Khakhar in the mid-1980s; thematically and in visualizations. Epistemically this is an important shift, and the presentation will address as to how this shift-over in vocabulary is related to his coming out of closet. The presentation will try to understand ‘disclosure’ in relation to the elements of fantasy and myth, and the elements of bizarre, strange, outlandish, incongruous or the unusual in Khakhar’s paintings, which still holds the primary potential to shock. Within this context, the presentation will critically look at certain crucial texts written on the artist’s works, such as by Geeta Kapur and Ranjit Hoskote and the presentation would suggest the inherent structural homophobia in these reading. It is of significance the way Kapur reads the ‘Indian homosexual man’, which draw immediate comparison with heterosexual relations. Despite taking note of the potential transgressive shift in Khakhar’s art, Kapur and Hoskote try to naturalize Khakhar’s political significance and overlook the implication of these within the gay political activism in two different ways
- Shivaji K Panikkar

Prof. Shivaji K Panikkar had been the Head, Department of Art History and Aesthetics, M.S. University of Baroda. His research and publications are in the areas of pre-modern and modern Indian art. His books include Saptamatrka Worship and Sculpture: An Iconological Interpretation of Conflicts and Resolution in the ‘Storied’ Brahmanical Icons (1997), Twentieth Century Indian Sculpture: Last Two Decades (edited) (2000), Towards A New Art History: Studies in Indian Art (co-edited) (2003), Art of Ancient India: Contextualizing Social Relations (co-edited) (2004), Art of Medieval India: Contextualizing Social Relations (co-edited) (2005), and several exhibition catalogues. Currently he is engaged in editing the books, Art and Activism: Articulating Resistance and Elites and the Popular: Interfaces of India’s Art History. He has coordinated six national conferences around the theme of ‘New Art History’ from 2000 to 2007 in the Dept. of Art History and Aesthetics (MSU Vadodara) and one international conference on Archiving and Art (Feb. 2009). He is one of the Project Directors of the five traveling workshops on the theme Curating Indian Visual Culture: Theory and Practice which is an initiative of India Foundation for the Arts (IFA), Bangalore, and funded by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Apart from research on queer cultural practices, currently he is also engaged in setting up an institution named ARQ: Archive, Research and Queer Cultural Practice.

* This is the fourth in the Re-Look: Lectures on Indian art series.
Somberikatte is an initiative by Pushpamala N.

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