Art News & Views

6th Asian Museum Curators' Conference

   by Nalini S Malaviya

The 6th Asian Museum Curators Conference was held recently in Delhi and Bangalore from 19th to 22nd October. Initiated by The Japan Foundation in 2006 the conference was organized in India in collaboration with the India Foundation for the Arts and had participant curators from art museums from Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan along with independent curators from India. In view of the shifts in the function of the curator, evolving spectator-curator interactions and the growing importance of curation of art and other cultural production, the conference provided a much needed forum to discuss aspects related to curation in the Asian context. According to the concept note, the conference sought “to address the expansion of curatorial activity and the role of the curator as well as the dialectical relationship between curators and spectators, who today are positioned as audiences and publics but also often participate as curators and consumers.”

Vidya Dehijia, the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia University delivered the keynote address and drew upon her own experiences in curating exhibitions for a global audience, while Hiroko Ikegami, Annapurna Garimella, Rahaab Allana and other speakers made presentations that covered topics ranging from an overview of curation; political curation: audiences v/s publics, historicizing art events, archives and collections, design and the spaces of curation and alternative art and curation. Each of the participants also gave a brief introduction on their background and their curatorial practice and context within which they work.

The conference, a major part of which was held in Bangalore provided an opportunity for sharing specifics of individual curatorial practices within institutional frameworks and gave valuable insights into art practices specific to regions and opened up prospects for collaborating and in expanding the Asian network of professionals in the field of curatorship and arts management.




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