Asia Art Archive (AAA) will present a one-day public conference titled 'Fields of Legibility: disciplines and practices of art writing in India' on 6 February 2013. The event, co-hosted by Kochi-Muziris Biennale, is the first in a sequence of such programmes that will inform AAA's research towards a series of anthology publications dedicated to the history of writing on 20th century visual art in India.

Having set up its first Indian research post in 2007, AAA has over the years undertaken a number of research initiatives in the country, ranging from awarding a research grant to Vidya Shivadas in 2009 to critically survey the field of art criticism in India to a digitisation project of the personal archive of Geeta Kapur and Vivan Sundaram in 2010. Currently, the Archive is working on two more projects. The first involves the digitisation of the personal archives of four important pedagogues in Baroda, namely, Professors K G Subramanyan, Gulammohammed Sheikh, Ratan Parimoo, and Jyoti Bhatt. Asia Art Archive is also compiling an extensive bibliography of art writing in India since the late 19th century, across English and regional languages. Our efforts towards an anthology series build on these prior initiatives and seek to make a contribution to the study of art history and practice in India.

The conference on 6 February hopes to set off this process by means of interlocution, on how writing over the last decades has attempted to make legible the changing field of art, its regional specificities, and in what possible ways we may read those texts today and position them for the future. 

Prof. Susie Tharu, Geeta Kapur, Prof. Gulammohammed Sheikh, Saloni Mathur, Raqs Media Collective, Sadanand Menon, and Prof. Parul Dave Mukherjee, amongst others, will participate in the event.

The conference will be followed by an internal workshop (for invited participants only) on 7 February that will serve as a point of departure for testing the structures and parameters for the planned anthology.

This programme is co-hosted by Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India).

Special thanks for Outset Carnoustie as venue partners.

Free registration on site
Seat are limited: first come, first served.

Programme Schedule

Morning session (10am - 1:30pm)

Introduction & Keynote Lecture

Welcome address and conference introduction

Keynote lecture: Prof. Susie Tharu, Professor of Eminence, Dept. of Cultural Studies, The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad

Panel 1: Writing on the Nation | Writing in the Vernacular

Panel 1: Writing on the Nation | Writing in the Vernacular

Chair: Prof. Parul Dave Mukherjee, Dean, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
Speakers: Saloni Mathur, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles | Prof. Gulamohammed Sheikh, artist, Baroda

Afternoon session (2:30 - 5pm)

Panel 2:  Sites of Discourse | Discursive Positions

Panel 2: Sites of Discourse | Discursive Positions

Chair: Sadanand Menon, art critic, Chennai
Speakers: Geeta Kapur, independent critic and curator, New Delhi  |  Raqs Media Collective, artist collective, New Delhi

Summation: Prof. Parul Dave Mukherjee