Seminar on the Brahmaputra and and online forum
Participants: Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Monica Narula, Kaushik Bhaumik, Sanjay Bangar, Sharmila Samant, Siu King Chung, Nancy Adajania, Tushar Joag, Howard Chan, Nishant Shah, Pooja Sood, Sonal Jain, Mriganka Madhukaillya, Prayas Abhinav, Stephen Wright, Renée Ridgway
‘Unspeakably More depends on what things are called than on what they are. (...) Let us not forget that in the long run it is enough to create new names and plausibilities in order to create new "things".’
In the course of thinking through our symposium on curatorship under the broad title Art after Space, our original concept has morphed into something else. The above statement is Stephen’s premise about how to incite a discussion, actually focus on having that discussion as the event, not as a secondary action to an exhibition or what has been termed the “pedagogical turn” in contemporary art.
During the past months we have been organising with Khoj this real time and online forum at n.e.w.s. Our reconnaissance trip to Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore last April enabled us to take apart the concept of Art After Space. We maintain that art’s condition is post-spatial, yet it is often frustrating to try and describe that condition with existing concepts and vocabularies. The deeper we got in our conversations – which included or even precluded the internet – the more superficial the available vocabulary seemed to be for what we were actually trying to postulate, describe, or invent.
The performative of “talking art” is something we have been recently discussing at n.e.w.s. In researching and writing our forthcoming book, Arbitrating Attention: reinvesting attention surplus in plausible artworlds as it is affectionately called, different courses of action have emerged, some inadvertently, others hammered out during our weekly Skype meetings or even real-world rendezvous. Somehow we are no longer submerged. What now comes to mind in anticipation of a weekend on the Brahmaputra at Periferry is not only the geophysical and geopolitical context – the water, the North East – but the symbolic dimension: the ferry as the meeting place, buoyancy enabling thoughts, the flux of ideas.