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1987 Perceiving Fingers Swaminathan: As we have already said, from our standpoint, we define contemporaneity as a simultaneous validity of co-existing

cultures, as is the validity of the simultaneity of events on the matrix of infinity. (p. 37) 1989 Review of Magiciens de la Terre Lewison: claims to be the first truly international exhibition. Magiciens sets out to show that contemporary art is also produced within less developed countries and that in the same way as western artists work within, develop and deviate from a tradition, so too do their 'third world' counterparts. The purpose of the exhibition, therefore, is to supply 'third world' art with a context and a framework in which it may be under- stood by the western visitor. Indeed viewing western art in such company allows us to re-evaluate its importance. It becomes immediately apparent how much we rely on inherited traditions and context in the understand- ing of the art of our own culture, as the organisers admitted when they made their selection. 1998 Other Masters: Five Contemporary Folk and Tribal Artists from India What does this exhibition do? First, its cultural politics challenge the demand that anthropology and the museum have made on the tribal and the folk in India. It does this by showcasing artists who belong to large collectivities, in this case folk or tribal, as contemporary artists in what is a national crafts museum. The idea of emphasizing individuality and authorship over group identity and inherited knowledge is remarkable. By doing this, it wants to challenge how we think of a tribal or a folk person. What it does not do is actually find other ways of thinking art making. Because it is focussed on the person of the artist, it has the problem of highlighting practice as heroic behaviour rather than large scale, structural experience. Ties the art to large-scale history of Indian artists, that is art history, in an ahistorical way. It flattens the different systems in which artists worked in order to arrive at the idea that artists were recognized and not anonymous. But interesting thing that he develops is the idea of anonymous individuality and individuality as a sign of a certain intellectual intention. What he or she could not do is establish an identity as an artist in the face of the increasingly

powerful tide of trade and commerce-based crafts manufacturers. Crafts in a commercial context or minor arts in a cultural context.

2002 New Art from India: Home, Street, Shrine, Bazaar, Museum (where is the gallery) GS: Most exhibitions on contemporary Indian art till recently have focused exclusively on urban modern art with the conspicuous absence of other visual cultures. Folk or rural-tribal objects defined as pre-modern or traditional, were either excluded or confined to the ethnographic basket of crafts, popular ephemera termed kitsch was avoided in preference to objects of artistic value and permanence. New Indian Art would like to take a different view. The initiative here is to present a spectrum of cultural practices using markers of Home, Street, Shrine, Bazaar, Museum as sites of art. To achive an interfaceurban modern art with the pre-modern rural and tribal crafts and aspects of the urban popular are placed on a common platform. The curatorial view springing from the vantage point of urban modern endeavours to expand its loci and address issues arising out of a holistic perception. The purpose is to raise issues of what is within and without the existing territories of art: of the collective and individualised expressions, the stereotypical axis of traditional and modern located in the rural and urban sectors and the overt or implicit hierarchies therein. Crossing borders implicate both sharings and divides: transgressions kindle their own tensions, even conflicts. Juxtapositions of conventional and experimental materials and mediums from the use of dyed grass to digital softwareswould also pose questions of their relevance in the times we live in. Thematic plurality as well as linguistic, questions notions of timelessness, the definitions of an overarching historical framework, and reveal personal, regional national, international moorings which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Jain: Adapting new techniques and materials to innovate, adopting customs from dominant groups in the quest for upward mobility part of tribal societies On Sundaribai, Jain says It is astonishing that having entered the formal exhibitory spaces of contemporary art, Sundaribai has evolved a sense of personal identity as artist and has learnt the language of abstraction and transformation of the common place into an object of personal expression. On collective and individual expression: There are several forms of artistic expression in which within the general technical and iconic parameters of a collective tradition each individual produces a work clearly bearing a mark of individuality.... Alternatively, there are situations wherein the work itself is produced collectively by several individuals on it together as a team. In this case, usually there is one leader who loosely directs the project.

2005 Edge of Desire: Recent Art in India Chaitanya Sambrani: Places himself in the Other Masters legacy. Despite a systematic segregation between folk/tribal and modernist art, Adivasi and folk traditions have remained a point of reference for a number of urban artists, whether as a recollection into modernist gallery spaces of the artists own rural origins, or as a voluntarist invocation of folk forms in combination with modernist techniques as a means of generating indigenous modernism. Ashish Rajyadaksha: Visuality is denotative and connotative; it denotes in that it designates and makes visible a place or a person and confirms it this is so and also trangressively connotes because it is designed to be extra-verbal and escape and bypass so that the person or place cannot or will not represent what you want him or it to be. Visuality as the production of the national-citizen subject as well as the production of national public space. Subaltern non-universality, privileging its capacity to create divides between those who are in the narrative inside the space and those who are outside, looking in. Kajri Jain: The show deals primarily with a modernist processing of the visual culture it seeks to represent, rather than offering that visual culture up in the raw. Like many other aspects of postcolonial modernity, the modern vernaculars that many of the works in this show draw on are subject to a kind of spatiotemporal warp, so that even as they form an integral part of contemporary experience, they are also cast in the modern(ist) historical imagination as marginal, anachronistic, teleologically prior, or at the very least about to disappear in the face of globalization. This unsettled status of the vernaculars, I want to suggest, has the effect of ambivalently situating the works that draw on them between engagement and distancebetween memory, nostalgia, and critical historicity. What separates them are the disjunct yet overlapping aesthetic and economic frames within which they circulate: on the one hand, those of the vernacular bazaar, which resists divisions between religion, commerce, kinship, aesthetics, and politics, and on the other those of a largely Anglophone global arena whose ongoing project is the assertion of a post-Enlightenment bourgeois ethos.

2005 Identity Exhibitions

Greenberg: The reading room also materialized the absence of a separation between political projects in and outside the art world. Lamoureux demonstrates how the dis avowal of difference in Magiciens through an installation of "neighboring" or jux taposition soothes viewers in what she calls, in an earlier version of her essay, an "aesthetics of mending." Lamoureux contrasts the taming effects of presenting the "frightening other" in what I call a cohabitation installation strategy with the unsettling self-reflexivity of Documenta, where installation is predicated on a destabilization of the expectedand the known. Lamoureux's extensive examina tion of the functions of the fetish through psychological, anthropological, and economic paradigms is an important contribution to understanding exhibitions about identity, the relation of installation to interpretations of the other, and the construction of affect as an exhibition effect. 2005 Lamoureux As philosopher Yves Michaud has indicated, Martin's endeavor with Magiciens was to replace the cosmopolitan rationale of the international art scene with a plane tary paradigm that would no longer allow ioo percent of Western exhibitions to systematically ignore 80 percent of the surface of the globe.3 The ambition entailed a significant shift, since to suspend, albeit temporarily, until the show's opening, the drawing power of the metropolis in favor of a more global repre sentation further displaces the modern figure of the artist-as-exile in order to promote the "curator as explorer." It is also worth pointing out that the curator-as-explorer emerged in the contemporary art world at the close of a decade that registered the rise of the anthropological turn, under the aegis of what Hal Foster was soon to coin as the artist-as-ethnographer" paradigm.5 This conflation of figures between curator and artist not only worked hand in hand with a possible fetishization of other ness, but also manifested, on the curator's part, a definite claim of authorship, a claim that challenged, despite the expected denials, the locus of artistic enuncia tion insofar as it displaced the focus of reception from the individual works to the very project of their gathering in an exhibition. Foster's argument proposed that in "Primitivism," the encounter with the other was negotiated and ultimately refused through a severe decontextualization, a dressing-up and erasure of differences provided by the formalist agenda. once again, difference, both recog nized and disavowed, is reframed in a production of sameness. The fetishism of exhibition displays is a factor at play even when an exhibition doesn't involve the representation of an ethnographic other, even when the dis concerting other is none other than art itself that has to be made palatable, more familiar, and not too disquieting, for the widest possible audience, in a visual regime of spectacular entertainment. Martin Exhibitions exhibit variations, details, and modalities not in but precisely toward a context of fabricated homogeneity and sameness.

Magiciens legitimized its curatorial choices through a cult of individual expression as the reliable standard of artistic excellence, whereas Documenta 11 sought to give voice to the "multitude" (a concept openly borrowed from Fanon s The Wretched of the Earth). The first resided in the prevalence, in the Fridericianum, of textual and archival material, stressing series?gigantic, endless series?over single pieces, second and certainly the most determinant attack on any sense of totality was the extensive selection of media and time-based material. blockbusters and biennales (namely size) and radicalized it with dura tion, making it not only an impossible show to see in its entirety but a literally incommensurable show that exhibited precisely this very impossibility.