Friday 26 May 2017 News Updated at 03:05 AM IST
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Art of curation - Deccan Herald
Art of curation
Giridhar Khasnis,
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Unique Perspectives: (Clockwise from left) paintings by Anju Dodiya, Arpita Singh & Varunika Saraf.
On the process of curation

On her favourite art event

Undoubtedly, Documenta in Kassel, Germany is my favourite art platform. Documenta 9 (1992) really broadened my understanding about art. It was the first time I was seeing such experimentation with media and themes, coming as I did from pre-liberalised India.

Documenta 13 (2012) by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev too was an eye-opener because her curatorial concept brought in a post-humanism aspect. Closer home, I found Insert (2014) by Raqs Media Collective broadening the discourse around the visual arts in a meaningful way. I have also thoroughly enjoyed all the three editions of Kochi Biennale.

Her take on artists as curators

Love it! Artists have a special way of seeing the world and bring that sensibility with them. Of course, they may not always have a strong concept in place but operate more intuitively or visually. One of my favourite shows was 'Resemble Reassemble’ (2010) curated by Pakistani artist Rashid Rana. Also, the Kochi Biennale is helmed by artists. The three editions had Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu (2012), Jitish Kallat (2014) and Sudarshan Shetty (2016) as artistic directors. I am looking forward to what Anita Dube has in store for us at the next edition in 2018.

On her latest curatorial venture

I noticed that maps or cartography was a recurrent motif that cropped up in a number of artists’ works. Some artists interestingly mapped the physical space such as a land or urbanscape, while some others were mapping memories or histories. There were a few artists who also dealt with the body itself as landscape. My curatorial intervention for 'Here be Dragons and other coded landscapes’ was to offer artists a chance to code the world and play the cartographer; and an invitation to map times, spaces, constellations, human bodies, histories or even memories. In doing so, they could make unexpected linkages and re-imagine the world as we know it.

Interestingly, when I heard artist Nilima Sheikh speaking about her landscapes being coded, it provided a creative impetus to an idea which I was toying with for a while.