Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TO LET THE WORLD IN : Narrative and Beyond in Contemporary Indian Art I VOLUME 1 and 2

About the project:

"To Let The World In" is a two-part film project that looks at a significant period in the history of contemporary Indian art, featuring the work of three generations of visual artists, born over a period of half a century. 

The first volume features intimate conversations with artists born in the 1930, 40s and 50s. The seniors among them marked the return to narrative figuration in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the exhibition titled “Place for People”, which was held in Delhi and Mumbai in 1981. The artists featured in the film are Arpita Singh, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Vivan Sundaram, Nilima Sheikh, Nalini Malani and Sudhir Patwardhan, along with art critic and curator Geeta Kapur, who became an ideologue for this generation. 

The artists talk about their practice and the friendships among the group. While doing so, they fondly invoke the memory of Bhupen Khakhar, the invaluable artist from the group, who passed away in 2003.

The second generation of artists, born in the 1950s, became the interlocutors for the legacy of the narrative-figurative tradition. The artists featured in the film are Ranbir Kaleka, Pushpamala N., Anita Dube and Atul Dodiya.

The second volume of the film features artists born in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The majority of the artists among this group started their practice on the momentous cusp of India’s economic liberalisation and the assertion of religious fundamentalism in politics, which dramatically altered ideological contexts in the country, thereby directly affecting art practice. The artists talk about the crisis in art education in the 1990s and the altered context of art production, with the interest of the international art market in "Indian" art. The artists featured in this volume are Anju Dodiya, Archana Hande, Benitha Perciyal, Sharmila Samant, Parvathi Nayar, Riyas Komu, Tushar Joag, Shilpa Gupta, Gargi Raina, Sumakshi Singh, T.V. Santhosh, Nataraj Sharma, Gigi Scaria, Reena Saini Kallat and Jitish Kallat.

The film was produced by Art Chennai, as a component of their show "To Let The World In: Narrative and Beyond in Contemporary Indian Art", curated by Chaitanya Sambrani, held in Chennai in 2012.

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