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India debuts at Venice

It’s a proud moment for the Indian art circuit — for the first time in the history of 115-year-old La Biennale Di Venezia, there will be a pavilion totally dedicated to Indian artists.

art and culture Updated: Apr 17, 2011 14:55 IST
Aakriti Sawhney

It’s a proud moment for the Indian art circuit — for the first time in the history of 115-year-old La Biennale Di Venezia, there will be a pavilion totally dedicated to Indian artists. The 54th International Art Exhibition will be held in the city of Arsenale, Italy, from June 4 till November 27, 2011. The Indian pavilion will be managed by Lalit Kala Akademi and will see Delhi-based Gigi Scaria, as one of the participating artist.

“The biennale is not only the oldest international exhibitions of this stature, but also the longest,” says Ashok Vajpeyi of Lalit Kala Akademi. “It’s a platform that gets the best, inspiring and the most engaging artworks from across the globe.”

Titled, Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode, the Indian section will be curated by cultural theorist and poet Ranjit Haskote. Talking about the concept that he has designed for the exhibition, Haskote says, “The exhibition explores the idea of transcultural practices, migration and cross pollination in India. The pavilion intends to serve as a laboratory that will test the key propositions concerning the contemporary Indian art scene.”

The artists whose artwork will make it to Arsenale are — Zarina Hasmi, Praneet Soi, Gigi Scaria and The Desire Machine Collective (Sonal Jain and Mriganka Madhukailya). While Hashmi is a mix media artist, Soi and Scaria have their expertise in painting, sculptures and video art. Collectively, there will be seven works by these artists that will include installations, video films and sculptures.

Speaking on the selection of the artists, Haskote says, "The selection of artists was done in such a way, that collectively they represent a set of conceptually rigorous and aesthetically rich artistic practices prevailing in India. Together they represent diverse regional modalities, religious lineages, sub-cultural locations and aesthetic choices within the larger formation of India.”

India on an artistic high
What: The 54th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale Di Venezia will see four Indian artists and art groups
When: June 4 to November 27
Where: Arsenale (Artiglieria), Venice, Italy
Title of the exhibition: Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode
Curator: Cultural theorist and poet Ranjit Haskote