Vivan Sundaram: History Project

Foreword by Homi K. Bhabha. Essays by Geeta Kapur, Saloni Mathur, Arindam Dutta, and Sibaji Bandyopadhyay

Tulika Books

Vivan Sundaram: History Project

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Pub Date: July 2017

ISBN: 9789382381945

308 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $70.00£58.95

Vivan Sundaram: History Project

Foreword by Homi K. Bhabha. Essays by Geeta Kapur, Saloni Mathur, Arindam Dutta, and Sibaji Bandyopadhyay

Tulika Books

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This book is an intensive reconsideration of the very first site-specific installation staged in India. Vivan Sundaram, one of India's most innovative artists, located his History Project, marking fifty years of Indian independence, in a hugely visited and popular public institution, the Victoria Memorial and Museum in Kolkata. The artist's choice of setting was by way of a challenge: to 'occupy' an imperial edifice and change its orientation; to reflect India's struggle for independence and the emerging nation's stake in modernity through an anachronistic mirror; and to engage with postcolonial contradictions through recursive narration. It needed an artwork scaled to the proportion of these issues and the book examines how Sundaram met this challenge. His ideology and aesthetic, his formal choices and method, are critically investigated in a series of essays contributed by distinguished authors: cultural theorists, art and architectural historians. The book carries abundant, well-annotated illustrations of the complex installation.

About the Author

Vivan Sundaram (born 1943) studied painting in Baroda and London. Since 1990 he has made sculpture, installation, photography, and video. His major works include the installations Memorial (1993), Sher-Gil Archive (1995), and History Project (1998); Re-take of Amrita (1991–92), digital photographs; video installations, Tracking (2003) and Black Gold (2012); Gagawaka (2011) and Post Mortem (2013–14), where he crossed over into fashion performance; 409 Ramkinkars (2015), a collaboration with theater directors; and Meanings of Failed Action: Insurrection 1946 (2017), a public art event in collaboration with Ashish Rajadhyaksha. Sundaram has exhibited in the Biennales of Sydney, Seville, Taipei, Sharjah, Shanghai, Havana, Johannesburg, Kwangju, Berlin, and in the Asia-Pacific Triennial, Brisbane. He has had solo shows outside India at the Fowler Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Sepia International, New York (2006, 2008); Walsh Gallery, Chicago (2005, 2008); and Photographers Gallery, Copenhagen (2003). He has curated many exhibitions as well as organized a number of artists' workshops, both national and international. Vivan Sundaram is the editor of a two-volume book, Amrita Sher-Gil: a self-portrait in letters & writings (2010). He is a founder-member of the Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust as well as the Journal of Arts & Ideas, and managing trustee of the Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation (SSAF) set up in 2016 by him and his sister Navina Sundaram.

Homi K. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of English and American Literature and Language, and the director of the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University.

Geeta Kapur is a noted art critic and curator based in New Delhi.

Saloni Mathur is assistant professor of art history at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Arindam Dutta is associate professor of architectural history and director of the History, Theory, Criticism Program in Art and Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Sibaji Bandyopadhyay is former professor of cultural studies, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata, and former professor of comparative literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

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