India Re-Worlded: Art and Politics
MUMBAI, 3 FEBRUARY, 2018: Asia Society India Centre hosted a panel of four contemporary artists: Jitish Kallat, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Mithu Sen, and Justin Ponmany, as part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend at ISDI (Indian School of Design and Innovation). In view of their participation in the exhibition curated by Arshiya Lokhandwala, India Re-Worlded: Seventy Years of Investigating a Nation, the artists each presented on their practices and expounded on specific works that related to the subject of the evening, art and politics. Each artist presented on their particular work they felt pertained to the framework of politics. Shakuntala, who described her practice as rooted in resistance, presented a video and performance work. Following her, Kallat approached the audience questioning the very concept of "India." Seeing it as a construct, a system of beliefs, and even as a verb, he asked, what is a nation? After playing a video recording of her performance, "FIELD MEETING Take 4: Thinking Practice" at Asia Contemporary Art Week in 2016, Sen explained how freedom and surrender can be experienced within the nonsensical. Ponmany described his interest in analog and interactive bodies. After the artist presentations the panelists briefly discussed the amorphous nature of art-making, stating it not as a firm, predefined intention, but rather a questioning.
As reported by Lekha Jandhyala, Programme Assistant, Asia Society India Centre