Final Colloquium: "Creative collectives: A case study of collaborative practices in Karnataka," by Ms. Sumitra S, 10:30 Hrs, NIAS

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Final Colloquium



Title: Creative collectives: A case study of collaborative practices in Karnataka

Candidate: Ms. Sumitra Sundar

Advisor: Prof. Sharada Srinivasan

Date:  Friday, 10 May, 2019

Time:  10:30 Hrs

Venue: Conference Hall II, NIAS


 Curating is in a very nascent subject both for study and practice. The dynamic nature of this field which involved making art as well as the curation of it, requires a non-deterministic rationale to study it. This is very challenging as the contemporary is significantly different from previous epochs of Modern and Post-Modern. Research and writing show that curating in India, as well as the Global South, have taken on a pattern of dissent and resistance to hegemonical narratives, especially those that do not accommodate pluralism and decolonised thought systems. Academic engagement with the subject of curating and contemporary art has not been received much attention from an art historical viewpoint  within the Indian Context, particularly in southern India and Karnataka. The aim of this thesis was to map the changing landscape of curatorial practices in southern India and Karnataka especially with respect to understanding their role in highlighting themes of resistance as exemplified by the recurring exhibitions.  Whether it is the international recurring exhibition phenomenon or the increase in collaborative art practices, the trends in art curation demonstrate a need to connect to the political pulse of the time.  As discussed in this thesis, in the four decades after the 80's the relationship between global art practice and the political narratives became sharper and is also a trend that can be detected in southern Indian curatorial practices. The field work that supports the doctoral work is practice based, engaging with three projects. These case studies provide very important data that corroborates certain global trends in curating and art history in terms of the narratives of resistance.  The first of these, an art and media collective called Maraa who curate performance festivals in Bangalore. The second, a collective that had to shelve its work but did some intensive interventions and developed a play that engaged the lives of marginalised communities in Bangalore. The third was the curatorial process of the Students Biennale.  In all of these, a discernible trend is the engagement from students in particular in addressing art as a medium for change rather than the earlier ethos of art for arts sake.


All are invited to attend

Friday, May 10, 2019