Notes towards a Lexicon of Urgencies

To our generation of cultural producers, location has long ago liberated itself from geography. We map our location on a transregional lattice of shifting nodes representing intense occasions of collegiality, temporary platforms of convocation, and transcultural collaborations. As we move along the shifting nodes of this lattice, we produce outcomes along a scale of forms ranging across informal conversations, formal symposia, self-renewing caucuses, periodic publications, anthologies, traveling exhibitions, film festivals, biennials, residencies, and research projects. This global system of cultural production takes its cue from the laboratory: as in all laboratories, the emphasis is on experiment and its precipitates. However, to the extent that this system is relayed across a structure of global circulations, it also possesses a dimension of theatre: a rather large proportion of its activity is in the nature of rehearsal and restaging.

In this DISPATCH, we would like to address the dilemmas as well as the potentialities of a mode of cultural production that is based on global circulations yet is not merely circulatory; and a mode of life that is based on transnational mobility but is not without anchorage in regional predicaments.

Read the DISPATCH here.

October 1, 2010

DISPATCH #4: Mumbai
By Nancy Adajania & Ranjit Hoskote


Nancy Adajania

Nancy Adajania is a cultural theorist and curator based in Bombay. Her book, The Thirteenth Place: Positionality as Critique in the Art of Navjot Altaf, which is written from a politics of culture perspective, was published by The Guild, Bombay, in 2016. She was Joint Artistic Director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and has curated a number of exhibitions including a cycle of video art for ‘Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video’, Jewish Museum, New York (2015). In 2013 and 2014, Adajania taught the curatorial practice course at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts. In 2014, she curated the hybrid exhibition-publication project ‘Sacred/Scared’ (Latitude 28/ TAKE on Art magazine, Delhi), interweaving the expressive with the discursive by linking the exhibition to a transdisciplinary anthology. Adajania has proposed several new theoretical models through her extensive writings on media art, public art, the biennial culture, transcultural art practices, and the relationship of art to the public sphere. Adajania is the editor of the monograph Shilpa Gupta (Prestel, 2010) and co-author of The Dialogues Series (Popular Prakashan/ foundation b&g, Bombay 2011). She was research scholar-in-residence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2010 and 2013. Adajania is a member of the faculty for the Art Criticism and Theory Course (ACT) at Jnanapravaha, Bombay. Her monographic essay, ‘Obey the little laws and break the great ones: A life in feminism’, has been recently published in Arc Silt Dive: The Works of Sheba Chhachhi (Tulika in association with Volte Gallery, Delhi/Bombay, 2016).

Ranjit Hoskote

Ranjit Hoskote is a poet, cultural theorist and independent curator. He is the author of 19 books. These include five collections of poetry, most recently Vanishing Acts: New & Selected Poems 1985-2005 (New Delhi: Penguin, 2006) and Die Ankunft der Vögel (München: Carl Hanser Verlag, 2006). Hoskote has authored nine monographs on art and artists; most recently, Zinny & Maidagan: Compartment/ Das Abteil (Frankfurt: Museum für Moderne Kunst/ Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2010). Hoskote has co-authored, with the German novelist and essayist Ilija Trojanow, a critical history of cultural confluence, Kampfabsage (München: Random House/ Blessing Verlag, 2007).

Hoskote’s essays have appeared in numerous books and anthologies; most recently: ‘Biennials of Resistance’, in Elena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal and Solveig Øvstebo eds., The Biennial Reader (Bergen & Ostfildern-Ruit: Bergen Kunsthall & Hatje Cantz, 2010); ‘Preliminaries towards a Manifesto: The Future of the Museum in India’, in Hans Ulrich Obrist ed., Art Basel Miami Transcripts (Basel & Ostfildern-Ruit: Art Basel & Hatje Cantz, 2008); and ‘Versions of a Postcolonial Metropolis: Competing Discourses on Bombay’s Image’, in Klaus Segbers ed., The Making of Global City Regions (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Hoskote has curated 21 exhibitions of contemporary Indian and international art, including a mid-career survey of Atul Dodiya (Japan Foundation, Tokyo, 2001) and a lifetime retrospective of Jehangir Sabavala (National Gallery of Modern Art, Bombay and New Delhi, 2005-2006). He was co-curator of the trans-Asian collaborative curatorial project, ‘Under Construction’ (Japan Foundation, Tokyo and other Asian venues, 2001-2002). Hoskote and Hyunjin Kim co-curated, with Artistic Director Okwui Enwezor, the 7th Gwangju Biennial (Korea, 2008). He has just been appointed as Commissioner for India’s first-ever national pavilion for the 54th Venice Biennale (2011).

Hoskote is currently a research scholar at BAK/Basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht.

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