Art & its Materiality with Trade
Lecture by Sumesh Sharma

  • Art & its Materiality with Trade
    Hemla & From Abroad, Illustrated Weekly of India, 1965

Materialism was limited and much extended by maverick innovations in the period discussed as 'Socialism', now seen as a Dark Cloud in India's past.

An alternate internationalism extended itself based on a nepotistic capitalism that state trade encouraged. So were exhibitions that travelled across the shores of the Non-aligned movement as versions of solidarity but also rather curt state propaganda.  Materiality is best discussed when there is a lack of the material itself. The talk is a story of those failures in delivering material goods that then allowed the conceptual modern turn. 

A history of Art specially in India needs to be narrated outside first topes of aesthetics defined by the occident and secondly understanding the materiality of the artist as well as the the opportunity cost of a practice. Why does a Polish-Indian Gift Shop make sense? Anarchy in making trade now settles on the floors of a museum. 

Sumesh Sharma

is an artist, curator & writer. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative, Bombay in 2010 where he presently is the curator. His practice is informed by alternate art histories that often include cultural perspectives informed by socio-economics and politics. Immigrant Culture in the Francophone, Vernacular Equalities of Modernism, Movements of Black Consciousness in Culture are his areas of interest. He will curate an exhibition at the Showroom, London in 2018 and the Centre George Pompidou in 2017 under the direction of Catherine David. He was invited curator to the Biennale de Dakar, Dak'Art 2016 and Checkpoint Helsinki in 2015. He has curated exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Metropolitan Museum , New York, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, Para Site Hong Kong, Villa Vassilieff, Paris, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, ISCP New York, Insert 2014, New Delhi among others. He has been a resident at the Latvian Contemporary Art Centre, Riga, Manifesta Online Residency, San Art , Vietnam, Cites des Arts, Paris, and was the ICI fellow for Senegal in 2014 where he researched how the funding mechanisms in culture and institutional support of art institutions utilise the power structures put in place by colonial laws. His artist practice seeks layers through political materiality and art historical & theoretical failures while discussing the visual. His Masters in Research at the Universite Paul Cezanne (2008) was an Inquiry into Artist Careers.

Clark House Initiative

is a curatorial collaborative and a union of artists based in Bombay. It was established in 2010 by Zasha Colah and Sumesh Sharma. Strategies of equality have informed their work, while experiments in re reading of histories, and concerns of representation and visibility, are ways to imagine alternative economies and freedom.

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