Indian art set to make waves at leading French institute

November 24th, 2008 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) Indian art is set to make waves at one of Europe’s most avant garde multi-disciplinary institute of arts and culture - The Centre Pompidou in France - in a mega exhibition, ‘Paris, Delhi, Bombay’, in the spring of 2010. The artists shortlisted to display their works include Subodh Gupta, duo Jiten Thukral and Sumir Tagra, Anita Dube, Nalini Malani, Sudarshan Shetty and Shilpa Gupta.

The cache of exhibits will cover almost all genres of art - paintings, installations, performance art, video art, and derivatives (smaller art objects).

Fabrice Bousteau and Sophie Duplaix, who curated the globally-acclaimed Chanel’s ‘Mobile Art’ show in Hong Kong in February 2008, will curate the show.

Announcing the exhibition in the capital Monday, president of the Centre Pompidou, Alain Seban said ‘Paris, Delhi, Bombay’ will be the largest exhibition of Indian contemporary culture in Europe in 2010 that will travel to both India and France.

A Franco-Indian committee has been set up to facilitate the show.

“The exhibition is based on a novel concept. We aim to foster dialogue between French and Indian artists for cultural exchange. Indian artists will travel to France and French artists will visit India.

“The themes of the exhibition will be based on subjects and values - including lifestyles, thoughts and social mores - that permeate both in the Indian and French society,” Seban told IANS in an informal chat.

Centre Pompidou ranks second in Europe in terms of footfalls and the number of art works displayed.

Nearly 5.5 million people visit the institute every year, which displays 60,000 modern and contemporary works of art on a ration basis annually, Seban said. It was set up in 1977.

Indian art is not new to Centre Pompidou. The institute began its tryst with Indian art in 1986 with a modest show and followed it up with a festival of Bollywood films in 2006.

It has permanent exhibits by leading Indian contemporary artists Britain-born Anish Kapoor and Subodh Gupta.

“We have a mural by Anish Kapoor and an installation titled, ‘Sister’, by Gupta. It comprises kitchen utensils, table and a video footage,” Seban said.

Globalisation, said Seban, has made the exhibition possible.

“Contemporary art is international in its reach because of globalisation. But the fact is that the genre has been able to adapt to modernisation and retain its identity at the same time,” the president of Centre Pompidou said, explaining why the exhibition was unique.

The Centre primarily plans to focus on the emerging art scene - the generation of artists that emerged in the nineties.

According to Seban, contemporary Indian art best represents the opening up of the nineties. It is a product of globalisation. “India is one of the most creative centres in the world today.

“Its art has managed to make both ends meet - globalisation on one hand and keep its identity heritage on the other. Indian art delivers a message universal in its essence and is available to mankind. One cannot possibly ignore what’s going on in the Indian art today,” Seban said.

Fashion, another of Centre Pompidou’s artistic strength, will also see collaborations between Indian and French designers to create a new range of fashion accessories so that the exhibition reaches out to the society.

As part of the show, the institute will also get together social scientists, researchers and philosophers to compare French and Indian approach to globalisation.

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