This lecture will analyse how the past encounters the present in contemporary art displays – and why. We will journey from “Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution” (2021) at London’s British Museum – where ancient tantric deities prance alongside Bharti Kher’s All the While the Benevolent Slept (2008), a fibreglass mock-up of the decapitated goddess Chinnamasta – to 2020’s Lahore Biennale, “between the sun and the moon”. The latter wove the city’s breath-taking Mughal architecture into the curatorial narrative: think of Khadim Ali’s golden-gory tapestries, teeming with mythical creatures and contemporary militia, suspended from the intricate arches of the 17th century Pari Mahal (Palace of Fairies). What do these trendy, tradition-sensitive exhibitions show us about the relationship between history, heritage and 'the Now'? What socio-political agendas
motivate these cleverly orchestrated temporal collisions?
Sotheby's Institute is delighted to be presenting this event, which is part of the series Curating the Contemporary in Asia: Regions, Tradition and the Now, in partnership with Singapore Art Week 2021. In these talks, academics, curators and artists from across the region and its diasporas will come together to discuss the relationship between art, tradition and the contemporary in Asia.
This event starts at 5.30pm (Singapore); 3.00pm (India); 2.30pm (Pakistan); 9.30am (London). Please note this event will be recorded, for the benefit of people who miss the live broadcast.
Image caption: Khadim Ali, That Is How It Was, 2020, Fabric tapestry, 126 x 165.25 in. (Image courtesy: Aicon Art, New York & the artist. Photo: Sebastian Bach)