'Art writing is being pushed to the margins and alienated from the central and critical position that it should have in our societies, as well as the immediate contact it should have with readers. This is a global crisis and the challenges vary in different geographical locations. In some parts of the world there are fewer spaces in which to publish critical and experimental writings about art, there is less and less financing, and increasing constraints on time; in other places, whilst platforms for writing may be on the rise, their value and impact has declined.

The Critical Writing Ensembles attempt to find new ways, within a global framework, to share rich local writing histories, to experiment together and to produce new critical impulses regarding art writing.

This publication celebrates the launch of The Critical Writing Ensembles through expanded essays and contributions presented at the Dhaka Art Summit 2016, which brought together peers from the South Asia region and across the globe.' - from the back cover

Includes programme, reading list, and contributors' biographies.

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Chapter headings


Foreword: Words Caught in My Eyes


Session I: Al Fresco - Writing Within and Against the Art School

Towards 2019: working notes on the futurity of a site

- Anshuman DASGUPTA

The School Text Manifesto


Dislocating Authority in a Colonial Art School: critical interventions of a 'native' insider

- Shukla SAWANT

Borrowing Your Eyes, Her Words, My Prose - the Memories of a Memory Impaired

- Filipa RAMOS

Bagyi Aung Soe (1923-1990): attempts at a tenable (hi)story of a twentieth-century artist straddling nations, traditions and disciplines

- Yin Ker

Session II: Staging Words and Flowing Letters

Notes on Process: writing a life

- Belinder DHANOA

Best Book Don't Care or, Poor Form from Fringe Areas

A Letter Without a Subject from the Flow of Letters Between the Critic and the Reader or, The Futile Bliss of the Tutor Text


Mining the Archive: the prison letters of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Alys Faiz

- Salima HASHMI

Lotus Notes


The Art Critic

- Rosalyn D'MELLO

Session III: The Political Unconsciousness of Art Writing

Forms of Address: personal testimony and public discourse

- Geeta KAPUR

Shahrazade in the Archives: a testimony from fragments

- Mariam GHANI

Rebranding Mesopotamia: 'power of imagination to rule'


The Poison of Development

- Nabil AHMED

Metabolistic Writing and Reading

- Maria LIND

Session IV: Entangling and Disentangling Printed Matter

Everyday Stories from Conflict Zones

- Aunohita MOJUMDAR

'The Time Lived by Others': an Indian art review after independence

- Devika SINGH

Learning from Dhaka

- Dorothee RICHTER

From Afar and Up Close: artists' books as forms of critical writing

- Sharmini PEREIRA

Four Appendices to the Artists' Apostrophe


Art Writing from Below: transversality in the Country of Mistranslation

- Mustafa ZAMAN
Critical Writing Ensembles: Dhaka Art Summit 2016
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Critical Writing Ensembles: Dhaka Art Summit 2016

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