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  • Mar 20, 2019

India Pavilion to Feature Group Exhibition for 58th Venice Biennale

On March 20, the India Pavilion revealed that its presentation at the 58th Venice Biennale will be a group exhibition comprising seven artists: Nandalal Bose, Atul Dodiya, GR Iranna, Rummana Hussain, Jitish Kallat, Shakuntala Kulkarni, and Ashim Purkayastha. Titled “Our Time For a Future Caring” and curated by Roobina Karode of New Delhi’s Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, the show will revolve around Mahatma Gandhi, who exercised nonviolent civil disobedience as a form of political protest, and championed Indian independence from British colonial rule. 

Modernist pioneer Bose will be represented by his suite of tempera posters, Haripura Panels—depictions of India’s rural populations, commissioned by Gandhi in 1938. The exhibition will also include Kallat’s video installation Covering Letter (2012), which features a letter sent from Gandhi to Hitler, projected onto fog. Purkayastha will delve into the overlooked historical threads that surround Gandhi. Dodiya probes Gandhi’s legacy as “an artist of non-violence,” while Iranna, Hussain and Kulkarni will expound on the leader’s principles of truth, tolerance and peaceful protest. 

The India Pavilion is part of the government-backed celebratory program, “150 years of Gandhi.” “Our Time For a Future Caring” will mark the country’s return to the Venice Biennale after an eight-year hiatus. The presentation is spearheaded by the India Ministry of Culture, co-organized with the Confederation of Indian Industry, and commissioned by Shri Adwaita Chavan Gadanayak, director general of the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.   

The 58th Venice Biennale will be on view from May 11 to November 24.

Xuan Wei Yap is ArtAsiaPacific’s editorial intern.

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