What is Contemporary Curating? Views from the field

Curatorial Intensive workshop. Mumbai, India. December 2010.

This public symposium is a day-long conversation on contemporary curatorial practices in India and abroad, produced in cojunction with the Mumbai Curatorial Intensive, developed and implemented by ICI in collaboration with the Mohile Parikh Center (MPC), Mumbai.

What are the emerging forms of curating? Is it focused on new formats for exhibition-making or creating broader discursive frameworks? What are the new institutions and platforms that are resulting from curatorial thinking? Are there new kinds of collaborations and partnerships that are now possible? 

Speakers each will give brief presentations outlining one project that is relevant to the topic and their practice. Together these will provide wide ranging field reports on international contemporary curatorial models active throughout differing cultural contexts. Each set of presentations will be followed by moderated discussions.


Welcome and Introduction to symposium
Susan Hapgood and Kate Fowle.

Emerging processes and forms for exhibitions and projects: Case Studies from the Field
Shaina Anand, Arshiya Lokhandwala, Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, Shivaji Panikkar, Sharmila Samant.
Moderated by Susan Hapgood.


Emerging institutions, collaborations and platforms: Case Studies from the Field
Annie Fletcher, Annapurna Garimella, Heejin Kim, Tasneem Mehta, Pooja Sood.
Moderated by Kate Fowle.

Summary of day and questions
Kate Fowle and Susan Hapgood.

For more information about the Mumbai Curatorial Intensive, click here.

The Mumbai Curatorial Intensive is made possible by grants from Hivos, Doen Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation and Arts Collaboratory, who are partners in the activities of the Mohile Parikh Center, Mumbai.

This intensive is also supported, in part, by grants from the Dedalus Foundation, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Hartfield Foundation, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation; and by generous contributions from Toby Devan Lewis, James Cohan, and the supporters of ICI Access Fund.

December 14, 2011

Little Theatre, National Centre of the Performing Arts, NCPA Marg
Nariman Point, Mumbai
Maharashtra 400021

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Shaina Anand

Shaina Anand is a filmmaker and artist, and a co-initiator of CAMP, a space “in which ideas and energies gather, and become interests and forms” and Padma, the online video archive. She has been working independently in film/video since 1997.  In 2001, she founded ChitraKarKhana, a fully independent unit for experimental media. Her recent works continue to be informed by an interest in information politics, and by a critique of documentary film. Interventionist projects such as WICity TV (2005), Khirkeeyaan (2006), Cold Clinic (2008), and Al Jaar Qabla al Daar (2009) have created new assemblies from within the terrains of operation of contemporary media: television, cable TV, surveillance infrastructures, video archives - towards further possibilities for the image and narrative.

Annie Fletcher

Annie Fletcher is currently Curator of Exhibitions at the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, and tutor at De Appel, Amsterdam. She recently curated “After the Future” at eva International Biennial of Visual Art in 2012. Other projects include solo exhibitions or presentations with Sheela Gowda, David Maljkovic, Jo Baer, Jutta Koether, Cerith Wynn Evans, Deimantas Narkevicius, Minerva Cuevas, and the long term projects, Be(com)ing Dutch (2006-09) and Cork Caucus (2005) with Charles Esche. She was co-founder and co-director of the rolling curatorial platform “If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution” with Frederique Bergholtz (2005-10). As a writer she has contributed to various magazines including Afterall and Metropolis M. She is currently working on the “Museum of Arte útil” with Tanja Bruguera, which will open in the fall of 2013 at the Van Abbemuseum.

Kate Fowle

Kate Fowle is Director of MoMA PS1 in New York. From 2013-2019 she was the inaugural Chief Curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and director-at-large at Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York, where she was the Executive Director from 2009-13. Prior to this she was the international curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2007-08). In 2002 she co-founded the Master’s Program in Curatorial Practice for California College of the Arts in San Francisco, for which she was the Chair until 2007. Before moving to the United States, Fowle was co-director of Smith + Fowle in London from 1996-2002. From 1994-96 she was curator at the Towner Art Gallery and Museum in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Annapurna Garimella

Dr. Annapurna Garimella is a designer and an art historian who focuses on the art and architecture of India and is based in Bangalore, India. She heads Jackfruit, a research and design organization, with a specialized portfolio of design and curatorial projects for artists, museums, government and private organizations and non-profits. Jackfruit’s most recent project is Vernacular, in the Contemporary for Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi.  She is also founder of Art, Resources and Teaching Trust, a not-for-profit organization that gathers resources and promotes research and teaching in art and architectural history, archaeology, crafts, design, and other related disciplines in academic and non-academic fora. She was the former Research Editor and Advisory Board Member for Marg Publications and is currently on the board of the S N School of Art and Communication, University of Hyderabad. She has written several essays on contemporary art and edited and contributed to two volumes, Shaping the Indian Modern on the work of Mulk Raj Anand and along with Bhanu Padamsee, Akbar Padamsee: Work in Language.

Susan Hapgood

Susan Hapgood is Executive Director of the International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) in New York. She is also a Senior Advisor to ICI, and Founder and Director of the Mumbai Art Room. Prior to ISCP, Hapgood was ICI’s director of exhibitions, developing and managing the exhibitions program for seven years until 2010. She has worked in a curatorial capacity for institutions including the Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, and American Federation of Arts. The exhibitions she has curated include FluxAttitudes, Neo-Dada: Redefining Art 1958-62, Video Divertimento, and Slightly Unbalanced, and In Deed: Certificates of Authenticity in Art, and her texts have appeared in publications including Art in America, Frieze, and FlashArt. She received a M.A. in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University.

Heejin Kim

Heejin Kim is curator, director of Art Space Pool (2010-present) and former curator of Insa Art Space (2006-09) in Seoul. Kim’s curatorial interest is institutional critique from the perspective of cultural politics, artists’ practice-oriented knowledge production, articulation of local creative languages and performative education in curating. Kim’s projects take integrated forms of collective research lab, dialogical discursive workshop, presentation, production and publication. Some of the examples include Dongducheon: A Walk to Remember, A Walk to Envision” (2007-08, New Museum, NY & IAS, Seoul), John Bock: 2 handbags in a pickle (2008, Arko Art Center & IAS, Seoul), Unconquered: Critical Visions from South Korea (2009, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City), Tongue, Liberated! (2008), Thought is made in the mouth (2007), Frame Builders: The Choice of Local Art Institution in the time of Institutional Critique (2006), and most recently, Day of Confidence (2010), the project in six parts at Pool. Pool/Kim is one of “Museum as Hub,” the partnership of five international art institutions for inter-regional curatorial collaborations.

Arshiya Lokhandwala

Arshiya Lokhandwala is an art historian, curator and founder of Lakeeren Art Gallery (1995–2003) in Mumbai, India. She completed her BA and MA in Sociology in 1986 and 1991 respectively. She is the recipient of the Charles Wallace India Trust award in 2001 for an MA in Creative Curating at Goldsmiths College, London. She was a participant at the Documenta 11 Education program in Kassel in 2002, under the artistic curator Okwui Enwezor. She is also a curatorial committee member of the Arts Pension Trust. Lokhandwala curated Rites/Rights/Rewrites: Women’s Video Art, which traveled to Cornell University, Duke University, and Rutgers University from 2003–06. She is currently a PhD candidate in the History of Art department at Cornell University, under Salah Hassan, and writes on the globalization of art, feminism, performance art and new media.

Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz

Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz is the curator of contemporary art and art historian in Dresden. She is artistic and managing director of the Kunsthaus Dresden, Municipal Gallery for Contemporary Art in Dresden since 2003. Kunsthaus Dresden is a publicly funded art institute hosting exhibitions and educational projects dedicated to current trends and discourses in international contemporary art. As a curator, writer and art historian, Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz was head of numerous exhibitions of international contemporary art reaching from classical exhibitions to advanced interventions in the rural and urban space. Her curatorial approach states art as a medium of cultural discourse, encompassing vital issues in art, politics and culture. Recent exhibitions and exhibition series have focussed on art and the history of art education, as well as processes of history telling and commemoration in a global context and interrelations between art and media technologies. She initiated a number of conferences on art in public space,  as well as art and education and launched numerous series of lectures and events in order to accompany and support the thematic focus of her exhibitions.

Shivaji Panikkar

Professor Shivaji K Panikkar is an Art Historian specialized in Indian Art. Currently he is the Dean, School of Culture & Creative Expressions, Bharat Ratna Dr B.R. Ambedkar University, Delhi (AUD). Having taught for over twenty-five years, he was the Head, Department of Art History and Aesthetics, M.S. University of Baroda (2000 -2007). His publications 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), and sequel volumes Art of Ancient/Medieval India: Contextualizing Social Relations (co-edited) (2004/2005).

Sharmila Samant

Sharmila Samant is an artist based in Mumbai who has shown widely, internationally, and who ran a non-profit artists collective in Mumbai for several years, called Open Circle, with several other artists.

Vidya Shivadas

Vidya Shivadas is a curator and art critic based in New Delhi. After completing her Masters in Art Criticism from Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, Vadodara in 2000 and a brief stint as an art reporter in the national daily The Indian Express, she joined the Vadehra Art Gallery as a curator in 2002. She has curated a series of exhibitions at the Gallery which include Something I’ve been meaning to tell you (with Sunil Gupta), April 2011; ID/entity, November 2010 (with Bhooma Padmanabhan and Julia Villasenor); Faiza Butt, Ruby Chishti, Masooma Syed (three Pakistani women artists), April 2009; Fluid Structures: Gender and Abstraction in India (1970s – 2008), April 2008; Objects: Making/Unmaking, April 2007 and Are We Like This Only, March 2005. In 2009 she was a guest curator at Devi Art Foundation, India’s first private contemporary art museum, and worked on the solo exhibition of Bangladeshi artist Mahbubur Rahman.

Gayatri Sinha

Gayatri Sinha is an art critic and curator based in New Delhi. Her primary areas of enquiry are around the structures of gender and iconography, media, economics and social history. As curator her work has cited the domains of photography and lens based work from archival and contemporary sources. She has edited Voices of Change: 20 Indian Artists (Marg 2010), Art and Visual Culture in India 1857- 2007 (Marg Publications, 2009); Indian Art: an Overview (Rupa Books, 2003]; Woman/Goddess (1998); Expressions and Evocations :Contemporary Indian Women Artists of India (Marg Publications, 1996]. She has curated extensively in India and abroad including at the India Art Summit and the Korean International Art Fair (2009), Newark Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2008-09).

Pooja Sood

Pooja Sood is the Director of KHOJ International Artists’ Association, an autonomous, artists’ led registered society aimed at promoting intercultural understanding through experimentation and exchange. It is possibly the only such public organization for experimental contemporary art in India. As a founding member of Khoj she coordinated the KHOJ International artist’s workshop in Delhi from 1998-2001, facilitated the workshops in Bangalore 2002-2003, in Mumbai 2005, Kolkata2006 and Srinagar 2007. In New Delhi, she has developed a radical space for alternative art practice at the KHOJ studios, which runs workshops, international residency programs and diverse projects. She has fundraised for the development of a pilot national network for the arts based on the KHOJ model. As the Director of KHOJ, she has developed core competencies in curating, fundraising, strategic planning and capacity building.

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