Safiuddin Ahmed, Receding Flood, 1959, soft ground etching, aquatint, 37x50cm, courtesy of the Ahmed Nazir Collection, Dhaka
News from around the world today and visual art in other places. Coming up next month is the chance to see a diverse selection of art works at the third edition of the internationally acclaimed Dhaka Art Summit (DAS), the world’s largest non-commercial platform for South Asian art. The exhibition takes place at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy from 5- 8 February, (details at end of post). It’s good to see that art work by Dayanita Singh will be included in the exhibition which also includes the work of many other visual artists who are unfamiliar to me.
“The 2016 edition of DAS showcases some of art from South Asia. Led by Samdani Art Foundation Artistic Director and DAS Chief Curator, Diana Campbell Betancourt, the Summit brings together artists, curators and thinkers to explore and share artistic work and practices from the region, provoking reflections on transnationalism, identity and time.
“Through its unique format and innovative curatorial approach, DAS is known for creating a generative space where participants can reconsider the past and future of art and exchange within South Asia and the rest of the world. Considered a central meeting point for art professionals from the region and further afield, those participating include over 300 emerging and established artists, internationally renowned curators and writers.
“The number of visiting institutions and partners from the United Kingdom this year reflect the flourishing support and interest in DAS and include Tate Modern, Tate Britain, V&A, Serpentine Galleries, Hayward Gallery, Delfina Foundation, The Tetley, Fiorucci Art Trust, Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery, New Art Exchange, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Liverpool Biennial and the Manchester International Festival, to name but a few.
“Also attending are internationally renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York; Centre Pompidou in Paris; Queensland Art Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane; Artspace Sydney Visual Arts Centre; documenta 14 in Athens and Kassel; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art; M+ in Hong Kong; Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan; CSMVS Museum in Mumbai; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, and many others, including biennales and festivals from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and the UK.
“In addition to exciting new commissions and exceptional curated group exhibitions, DAS events include talks, performances, films, book launches and more.
“Projects are curated by Diana Campbell Betancourt and include 13 newly commissioned works, as well as four works reconfigured within the Bangladeshi context. These celebrate the region’s pluralism and examine the fluid continuum of birth and experience in becoming an individual. The exhibition includes works by Lynda Benglis, Tino Sehgal, Shumon Ahmed, Tun Win Aung and Wah Nu, Simryn Gill, Waqas Khan, Shakuntala Kulkarni, Prabhavati Meppayil, Haroon Mirza, Amanullah Mojadidi, Sandeep Mukherjee, Po Po, Dayanita Singh, Ayesha Sultana, Christopher Kulendran Thomas, Munem Wasif and Mustafa Zaman curated by Daniel Baumann.
“From the over 300 applicants, curator Daniel Baumann, the Director of the Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland, and his team of local curatorial assistants have selected 13 finalists for the 2016 Samdani Art Award Exhibition. Their work will be showcased at DAS, in partnership with Pro Helvetia Swiss Arts Council and the Delfina Foundation. The exhibition presents an exciting opportunity to see the work of emerging artists from South Asia, and the winner – which will be announced during the DAS opening dinner on February 5 – will receive an all-expense-paid three-month residency at the Delfina Foundation in London. The finalists are Ashit Mitra, Atish Saha, Farzana Ahmed Urmi, Gazi Nafis Ahmed, Muhammad Rafiqul Islam Shuvo, Palash Battacharjee, Rasel Chowdhury, Rupam Roy, Salma Abedin Prithi, Samsul Alam Helal, Shimul Saha, Shumon Ahmed and Zihan Karim.
“The jury comprises professionals from some of the world’s most important museums, including Catherine David (Deputy Director, Centre Pompidou), Aaron Seeto (curator, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane), Beatrix Ruf (Director, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam) and Cosmin Costinas (Director, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong).”
The Missing One curated by Nada Raza.
The Missing One was published in 1896 by J. C. Bose, and is thought to be one of the first science fiction stories in the Bengali language. Using the tropes and technologies of science fiction as a thematic beginning, Tate Modern’s Nada Raza has created an intergalactic, intergenerational exhibition that brings together artworks from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Architecture in Bangladesh curated by Aurelién Lemonier.
Aurélien Lemonier, architect & curator at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, explores the contemporary architecture scene of Bangladesh via the legacy of Muzharul Islam (1947-2017), who is known for his pursuit of “humanist modernity” in his contributions to the city’s architecture.
Mining Warm Data curated by Diana Campbell.
Betancourt with collaboration from Ruxmini Choudhury and Shabnam Lilani. This evocative group exhibition features works from artists from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal and Bangladesh. Mining Warm Data exposes the emotional history radiating from Chitra Ganesh and Mariam Ghani’s The Index of the Disappeared, a physical archive of post-9/11 disappearances, and a new chapter has been commissioned and realised for this show by Samdani Art Foundation, Yale University Law School’s Schell Center for Human Rights and Creative Time Reports.
The Performance Pavilion, curated by Nikhil Chopra, Madhavi Gore and Jana Prepeluh.
Shifting Sands, Sifting Hands is curated by visual artist Jana Prepeluh, Nikhil Chopra and Madhavi Gore, visual artists and founders of Heritage Hotel explores the notion of the now in the context of time and duration and the idea of everything being in a constant state of becoming, in the slippage(s) of time through movement or stillness, of the body in the recognition of death present in every moment as it passes.
Film Programme curated by Shanay Jhaveri.
Shanay Jhaveri, assistant curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, presents a thoughtful selection of films called Passages, which includes hourly screenings of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory’s 1972 documentary about the writer-scholar Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Adventures of a Brown Man in Search of a Civilization, and a programme of films committed to exploring certain colonial and postcolonial conditions.
Rewind, the Summit’s first historical exhibition.
Curated by the Samdani Art Foundation’s Artistic Director Diana Campbell Betancourt, with a team including Beth Citron (Rubin Museum), Sabih Ahmed (Asia Art Archive) and Amara Antilla (Guggenheim), Rewind highlights the practices of South Asian artists active before 1980. Many of the works come from the Bangladesh National Collection and private collections from the region, with several exhibited for the first time in over 20 years.
Critical Writing Ensemble curated by Katya García-Antón and Antonio Cataldo.
Art writing has endured challenges that vary in nature around the world. Curated by Katya García-Antón, director and curator of the Office of Contemporary Art Norway, with Antonio Cataldo, a senior programmer at OCA, and the collaboration of Chandrika Grover Ralleigh (Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council), Diana Campbell Betancourt (Samdani Art Foundation), Katya García-Antón (OCA) and Bhavna Kakar (Take on Art), the Critical Writing Ensemble seeks to foster a community of art-writing peers by breaking the isolation that characterises much writing practice and creating a lively environment for intellectual exchange that culminates in a publication with international distribution.” From the press release.
This programme of talks and discussions features renowned curators and artists ranges from topics that explore cross-border art histories and off-centre art initiatives to the challenges of protecting the past while building the future and navigating regional group shows.
An array of programming and workshops are also on offer throughout the summit, including Asia Art Archive’s Live Feed Station, an on-site junction for viewing an array of some of the most interesting publications, art magazines, books and catalogues that have been published in the past century, and VAST Bhutan, a children’s workshop that works with the youth of Dhaka to make an immersive installation from local waste products.
Full programme as a PDF: Click HERE
Dhaka Art Summit
5–8 February 2016
10 am to 9 pm every day
Free entry. No registration.
Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy
14/3 Shegunbagicha, Ramna Dhaka – 1000, Bangladesh