Making its mark

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Making its mark

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 | Team Viva

Making its mark

Team Viva tunes into the announcement at the Embassy of Italy in India which hints that there will be an Indian influence at Artissima, Italy’s most prestigious art fair

At Artissima, Italy’s prestigious art fair, Hub India is a prolific exploration of the many registers that frame contemporary art from the Indian sub-continent, a region of artistic importance to South Asia and of increasing significance to the global world, shared the curators. The multi-part project which was initiated originally for Artissima to provide an overview of the eco-system comprising galleries, institutions and artists active in India, has subsequently grown into an intelligently expansive curation that encompass several variegations. These include Maximum Minimum — an exhibition at Artissima, Classical Radical — a tripartite museums show in collaboration with Fondazione Torino Musei that will host the project in its museum facilities, Palazzo Madama — Museo Civico d’Arte Antica and MAO Museo d’Arte Orientale – and  with the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino hosting the première of Sama: Symbols and gestures in contemporary art practices. Italy and India Volume 1, a film on contemporary art in Italy and India presented as a moving images installation.

Featuring over 65 artists from 10 of India’s leading contemporary galleries and foremost museums, supported by the Consulate General of India, Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA), and in collaboration with Artissima, Fondazione Torino Musei, Emami Art, Engendered and Arthub, ‘Hub India’ is poised to be the largest and most significant conversation that contemporary art from India has had with the Western world in recent times.

Myna Mukherjee, who will be curating Hub India, shared, "India is a country with not just one but many stories and we are fortunate enough to represent it on the world stage through this extensive curatorial project. There have been immense challenges and some gratification to put it together, given the current situation in the post-pandemic world, but it reaffirms our faith that art is an essential human endeavour. We are grateful to our institutional partners Kiran Nadar Museum of Arts, Emami Arts as well as Artissima, Fondazione Musei Torino and Accademia who have shown confidence and lent us massive support. The project would not have been possible without the strong bilateral relationships between both countries and a mutual passion for the arts and culture demonstrated by the support lent by ICCR and the Embassy of Italy in India.”

Crossing the cultural rubicon between modern and contemporary art, these curations reject the colonial attitude of linear progress, rather use tradition as a means of innovation, a continuous re-birth. They understand contemporaneity as a telescoping of politics, civilisations and the global times we live in. The works are a diverse cross-section of the genre, medium and process, ranging from line drawings and paintings to miniatures and sculptures; terracotta and metal to paper works and canvas,  prints and etchings to digital and AI work. They fire on all cylinders, blurring polarities of religion, caste or race, Asia and Europe, figurative representation orabstraction.

His excellency Vincenzo de Luca, the embassy of Italy in India’s ambassador, expressed on the occasion, “Hub India is an innovative project between Italy and India that will help us learn the ways of contemporary art whose roots are in the arts of two great civilisations”.

Hub India makes use of a broad spectrum of voices ranging from modern and contemporary masters, superstars and icons to cutting edge and freewheeling narratives fresh for discovery. Far more layered and complex than a survey show, these curations provide a kaleidoscopic lens that shifts perception and challenges stasis through complex, evocative and never reductive ways. It is then left to the viewer to decide the gaze, to decide what they will finally see. Co-curator Davide Quadrio, the founder and director of Arthub, remarked, "Hub India has been a project that brought me back to India with a sense of purpose. With Myna and

Onir we set off for a journey into art and crafts, in between history and contemporary culture and society. The result of the trip is a multi-layered project with exhibitions, presentations and a film. Connecting India and Italy through a process of encountering artists, intellectuals, artisans, historians, academics is a true privilege in these uncertain times. The results of this process are a layered series of presentations in three museums in Turin that create an open-ended narrative of India, here and now."

Hub India, a notable element of Artissima 2021, can be viewed in Turin from November 5-7.

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