Postby Surabhi Trivedi » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:14 am

New Delhi: India Foundation for the Arts and KHOJ International Artists’ Association present
AUGMENTING PRACTICES – three exhibitions curated by Rattanamol Singh Johal, Akansha Rastogi and Dr. Leon Tan, from November 3rd 2011 till November 10, 2011 at the KHOJ Studios, S-17, Khirkee Extension, New Delhi.
This is the second program in a series of projects that KHOJ has undertaken as the nodal centre facilitating curatorial practice in the visual arts. This program attempts to develop the training ground for emerging curators who engage with various modes of artistic practice and are actively involved in critical writing. The three curators – Rattanamol Singh Johal, Akansha Rastogi and Leon Tan – were selected for the residency by a jury comprising of Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Pooja Sood.
The programme is part of the four-year Curatorship Programme by India Foundation for the Arts (IFA) in collaboration with select institutions across the country.
Exhibitions’ Details:

1. Elusive Truth, Evolving Medium: Evaluating Contemporary Political Documentary
Curated by Rattanamol Singh Johal

This exhibition uses four documentary films – Deepa Dhanraj’s Something Like A War (52 min., 1991), Monica Bhasin’s Temporary Loss of Consciousness (35 min., 2005), Anirban Datta’s .in for motion (59 min., 2008) and Simon Chambers’ Cowboys in India (76 min., 2009) – juxtaposed with a text excerpt from Sheba Chhachhi’s installation, Raktpushp (1997), the Blue Book (2008) series of photographs by Dayanita Singh and two short activist videos from Samadrusti TV to underscore the evolution of the documentary medium and its exhibition in art spaces. Contemporary political documentary is informed by recent large-scale political, social and economic upheavals and the corporate colonization of mainstream media, responses to which demand new forms of expression and seek new techniques of expressing dissent, evading censorship and expanding circulation. In this milieu, Griersonian notions of documentary as defined by the medium’s conventional didacticism and employment of an “aesthetic of objectivity” have been gradually discarded in favour of non-linear narratives, personal histories, poetry, song, opinion, even propaganda, pointing to the existence of multiple/subjective truths and the complexities of representation.

2. Parenthetic Exercises: Archiving the Studio
Curated by Akansha Rastogi

This exhibition is a text in parenthesis (performative container), and not-the-main-text. The curator inhabited and archived artist Ranbir Kaleka’s studio during the residency-period. Each exhibit is an appendix to the artist’s practice, studio space, artworks and sites of artistic production. Positioning the curator as an artist, researcher, archivist, performer and parasite, the exhibition plays on the idea of archival exhaustion, with the artist as material. The consciously collected, chosen and distilled data / indexes, processed by the curator for dissemination are aimed to highlight the not-so-easily visible aspects of artists’ practices. This experimental exhibition translates the documentation of a non-event that is the artist’s studio space into an event.

3. Khoj Online: Experiments in Digital Curation
Curated by Dr. Leon Tan

This project involves the curation of archival material from Khoj International Artists’ Association using networked platforms including Panoramio, Google Earth, Google Maps and Historypin, with the objective of increasing the international visibility of India’s contemporary art history (1997-2010). It yields a selection of geo-located archival material within these platforms such that they become accessible to online audiences, and also builds on Panoramio’s integration with the Layar augmented reality browser, such that audiences in India browsing the Panoramio Layar with handheld devices in close proximity to Khoj’s historical art activities across the subcontinent will encounter images from the archives linked to contextual information.

Curators’ Bios

Akansha Rastogi
Akansha Rastogi is a Delhi-based researcher, working on Indian modern and contemporary art. She is currently an Associate Curator at the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art. She previously worked on a major retrospective exhibition and publication on artist Chittaprosad (set of five books, 2011) with Delhi Art Gallery; and with an Indian auction house and Collection – Osian’s Connoisseurs of Art. Her research areas include visual representation of peasants' and workers' revolts in the 1940s works of Chittaprosad, Somnath Hore and Qamrul Hassan, and working with and reading private collections of Indian Modern and Contemporary Art as sites of production of alternative narratives of Indian modernism. She is part of an artist collective 'WALA' (Paribartana Mohanty+Sujit Mallick+Akansha R).

Leon Tan
Leon Tan is an arts and media writer, cultural theorist and psychoanalyst based in Gothenburg (Sweden) and Auckland (New Zealand). He wrote his doctoral thesis on the history, aesthetics, politics and psychology of Internet art and social media at the University of Auckland, and previously lectured in art history and psychotherapy in New Zealand.

Rattanamol Singh Johal
Rattanamol Singh Johal is a graduate of the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York with double majors in Art History and Political Science. Having completed his postgraduate work at University of London's Courtauld Institute where he investigated the interplay of aesthetics and politics in globalized contemporary art, Rattan has recently returned to New Delhi for the KHOJ Curatorial Residency 2011.
Surabhi Trivedi
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