Beyond the humdrum of commerce that underpins the aesthetic draw of the annual India Art Fair, a makeshift auditorium at the NSIC venue plays host to the Speaker's Forum, a series of craftily assembled provocative sessions on pertinent issues concerning the Indian art world and its relationship with international trends. Its lure is its assortment of some of the art world's most influential names alongside local artists whose practices have received global acclaim. We recommend these three sessions as must-attend events during the three-day affair that opens to the public from January 30 to February 1.
Asia in the Era of Plural Modernities
January 30, 2pm to 3.30pm
Chaired by Parul Dave Mukherjee, professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, JNU, this panel features Suhanya Raffel, director of collections of Australia's Art Gallery of New South Wales; reputed art historian Deepak Ananth, curator of the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the 56th Venice Biennale and president and director of the Sharjah Arts Foundation, and Madhuvanti Ghose, Alsdorf Associate curator of India, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, and Islamic art at the Art Institute of Chicago; and promises to get a cross-section of views regarding Asia's contribution to the otherwise Western-art-influenced historical discourse of Modernism.
Writing Art: Conflicts and Collaborations
January 31, 3.30pm to 5pm
This timely panel, organised by Tony Korner, publisher of Artforum International, and writers Deborah Swallow and Zehra Jumabhoy and presented by The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and Artforum International Magazine includes artist Jitish Kallat, artistic director of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014; writer and critic Barry Shwabsky; the multi-faceted Julian Stallabrass, a writer, photographer, curator, and professor of Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Jumabhoy, who is presently pursuing her PhD there. Chaired by Swallow and Märit Rausing, the institute's director, we're hopeful this session will address some of the very pressing issues concerning art writing and criticism, particularly in an age where the demand for both are increasingly diminishing, and where conflicts of interest are more perversely felt than ever before.
Art, History, and their Discontents
January 31, 5.30pm to 7pm
Hang on to your seats if you do attend the last session as the one following is slated to draw a full house; not unsurprisingly, since it features some of the most exciting names on the Pakistani Contemporary Art scene, such as Quddus Mirza, art critic, curator, and head of the Fine Art Department at the National College of Arts, Lahore; international superstar Rashid Rana, who is associate professor and head of Fine Art Department at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, and Adeela Suleman, artist, associate professor, and head of the Fine Art Department at Karachi's Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Chaired by Indian art writer and curator, Jyoti Dhar, this panel will certainly offer Indian audiences a panoramic insight into Pakistan's highly regarded art educational system that is currently being driven by its most exciting and relevant artists.
Entry to the Speaker's Forum is free. Tickets for the India Art Fair, being held at the NSIC Exhibition Grounds, Govindpuri, are available at the venue as well as on bookmyshow.com, and are priced at Rs400 for the general public and Rs250 for students.