Tag Archives: identity

Photo News: Third Dhaka Art Summit opens next month in Bangladesh

Safiuddin Ahmed, Receding Flood, 1959, soft ground etching, aquatint, 37x50cm, courtesy of the Ahmed Nazir Collection, Dhaka

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.

Panel discussions
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


Photo Talk ‘Selfies’ – Kerrie Braithwaite reports from The Curated Ego panel talk at the National Portrait Gallery

MG_Selfie1 MG_Selfie2
My own brand of Selfie that I call Split-Selfies. This was taken in a rickshaw in Negombo, Sri Lanka, 2012

Recent journalism graduate and occasional contributor to The Roaming Eye, Kerrie Braithwaite reports below on a recent panel discussion in London focusing on what has become one of the most ubiquitous of photographic genres, the Selfie.

“The National Portrait Gallery (16 January) brought together various professionals, including two members of the artist collective StudioSTRIKE Sarah Howe and Mihnea Chiujdea,  to discuss one of the biggest social media trends of the time, the “Selfie”.

“The evening featured five panellists, Paul Snowdon professor of Philosophy of the mind at University College London (UCL), Rosy Martin photographer, writer and psychological therapist, Eugenie Shinkle senior lecturer for photographic theory and criticism at the University of Westminster, James Kilner senior lecturer in Human Motor Neurosciences at UCL. Chairing the panel was senior lecturer in the History of Art and Design, director of Historical and Critical studies for the Faculty of Art and trustee of the Design History Society, Annebella Pollen, who began by presenting two different types Selfie.

“First, she introduced the “look at me” Selfie showing images of celebrities, Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian (both topless), to another type, the controversial “we were here” Selfies by President Obama, David Cameron and President Helle Thorning Schmidt of Denmark at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. Pollen posed the idea of the social media Selfie as being “in pursuit of an ideal self”, a constant attempt to capture ourselves, in our moment, as we see perfect.

“The Selfie has changed dramatically over time from monochrome, straight-faced, upright portraits of important individuals to the inclusion of the camera device in the image through the reflection of a mirror. Selfie has also now become a term recognised by the Oxford dictionary as: “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”. The close association of the Selfie with technology and social media was discussed with Rosy Martin describing the Selfie as “a form of digital fashioning”.

“The Selfie was later described by Eugenie Shinkle as the “relationship between the self and technology, a completely different way of accommodating the camera to our body, a wearable technology”. James Kilner gave a neuroscientific perspective on the subject, and suggested a similar idea to Annebella Pollen, that technology “allows us to try to capture what we look like, and show others we are this good looking” a reasoning that could be justified in looking at not only the subject photographed, but the flattering angle in which the image is taken.

“Paul Snowdon said that those who take Selfie images have “their own narrative”, a similar idea to Eugenie Shinkle’s description of the Selfie as “a continuous event, a flow of networked information.” Instead of Selfies being memorabilia, Eugenie describes it as a portrayal of a “boundless and changed self, which keeps flowing”.

“The panel agreed with Paul Snowdon’s idea that the Selfie is a “multiplicity of selves”, an aspect that Rosy Martin, Eugenie Shinkle and Annebella Pollen also mentioned. Whether capturing a simple fleeting moment or aiming to capture yourself in the way you wish, the Selfie can be seen as an ongoing habit or narrative, constantly updating or changing, forever portraying another side of the individual’s alter ego, curated onto a platform for others to view and comment upon.

“It was informative, it was good to see people with different professional backgrounds give their opinion and argument on the topic. Our image of ourselves is more important and more interchangeable than ever, especially with the rise of technology and the internet” (Hannah Hathaway Kells, photographer)

“The talk was well planned with a great selection of professionals on the panel. The only thing I felt that wasn’t covered enough is the idea that the Selfie allows the subject to create the image as they want it to be and not have the photographer impose their view.” (Kerrie Braithwaite, journalist and reviewer).

What makes a good Selfie?
“A Selfie is more than just a self-portrait, it’s one of many ways that we respond to changing relationships between technology and the body.” – Eugenie Shinkle

“If you are thinking of being good, from the point of view of the Selfie producer, then whether it is good depends on whether it fulfils their aims (perhaps to amuse friends, say). But in general, a Selfie is simply a picture and so it is good if it is a good picture, and no one can capture in a simple formula what makes a good picture.” – Paul Snowdon

“My interest in the Selfie is the way it seems to encapsulate anxieties that people have about digital and networked photography, so much so that the old rules about when and where to take photographs, in what quantity, and which to make public are all called into question. There’s quite a lot of anxieties in the press about Selfies encouraging indiscriminate, unthinking picture-taking, as well as anxieties about what the huge amount of images might be doing to us, for example, the effects they may have on our self-image and memory function. A lot of this worry seems excessive to me, and quite typical of the way that new photographic technologies and practices are received – they have precipitated similar worries since the early days of the form.” – Annebella Pollen

“A playful and creative approach to self-portraits, that is not about chasing any notion of ‘the ideal image’, since that is an impossible goal, but rather allows for a whole range of emotions and possible representations which challenge simple stereotypes.”- Rosy Martin

“The rise in the popularity of Selfie is driven by the technology that allows us to share images of ourselves with others through social media. In this way we are able to present an image of ourselves to others which we control and are happy with. Therefore, to some degree what makes a good Selfie is an image of ourselves that we think portrays us in the way in which we would like others to see us.” – James Kilner

And if you have a Selfie to share, please email me:

I will collect and add a gallery of The Roaming Eye readers Selfies, with or without your name/nickname or alias. After all, if we have multiple selves then they can also be realised in the names we choose to adopt. So send your Selfie (72dpi max width 650pixels) to me. I will post ones of reporter Kerrie and photographer Hannah once I have them.










Kerrie and Hannah Double Selfie

Jade Rosemary’s Baby Cat Selfie

#2 Meditation copy
Oxana Selfie