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  MADHUSUDHANAN

Text:
Nancy Adajania
The Registry of Things Past: 'Neither you are aware, nor the police'

Conversation:
Madhusudhanan and T. V. Santhosh

Softbound 228 pages with more than 161 colour plates
Pages with text 61
Published by The Guild
ISBN: 978-93-80520-10-0

“Among his recent paintings, we see the calisthenics of history performed in a time of precarity: Lenin’s head being airlifted or carried on a wheel barrow of inflatable sand bags (war and genocide having become recurrent features in a post-communist world) or the symbol of heroism and power, the equestrian statue blown off its pedestal. But then we find this glowing robe miraculously suspended in the air next to Lenin, as he exits the pages of history. Is this a new ideological garb waiting for its wearer? Or is it a robe of redemption, a shirt sloughed off like old skin in Piero della Francesca’s ‘The Baptism of Christ’? Is it too much to hope for deliverance from the endless cycle of death and death? When the books burn at Fahrenheit 451, do we see the spectres of Indian Emergency or Nazism? Does the scission in Vasco da Gama’s foreshortened portrait project our schizoid post-colonial selves, held together by a bunch of tasseled bulbs?” - Nancy Adajania

An internationally acclaimed film-maker and artist, Madhusudhanan’s artistic practice flows seamlessly across media. His fascination with images, especially the advent of the moving image and its place in human history, is refl ected in a series of fi lms, paintings, drawings, video art and sculptural installations. The feature film ‘Bioscope’ (2008) is one of his foremost works. It is based on the journey of the then new art form of cinema during the colonial India. He is deeply concerned with issues of war, colonisation, India’s fi lm history and manmade borders. Marxism and Buddhism have been decisive infl uences on his art. ‘The Marx Archive: The Logic of Disappearance’ is an ongoing project comprising of drawings, sculptural installations and video. From this series, 90 charcoal drawings were shown at the Kochi Muziris Biennale, 2014, curated by Jitish Kallat. Selection from the same series and a new series called ‘The Penal Colony’ were shown at the Venice Biennale, 2015, curated by Okwui Enwezor. His fi lms have been awarded several international and national awards and have been shown extensively in film festivals, art galleries, museums, including Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York.

Nancy Adajania is a cultural theorist and curator based in Bombay. Her book, The Thirteenth Place: Positionality as Critique in the Art of Navjot Altaf, which combines an art historical perspective with a politics of culture approach, was published by The Guild, Bombay, in 2016. Her monographic essay, ‘Obey the little laws and break the great ones: A life in feminism’, has been recently published in Arc Silt Dive: The Works of Sheba Chhachhi (Tulika and Volte Gallery, Delhi/Bombay, 2016). Adajania has written extensively on the works of four generations of Indian women artists over the last two decades. Adajania was Joint Artistic Director of the 9th Gwangju Biennale (2012) and has curated a number of exhibitions including ‘No Parsi is an Island’ (National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi, 2016), which retrieves artistic positions that have been marginalised from canonical accounts of Indian art history, and a cycle of video art for ‘Sights and Sounds: Global Film and Video’, Jewish Museum, New York (2015). In 2014, she curated the hybrid exhibition-publication project ‘Sacred/Scared’ (Latitude 28 and TAKE on Art magazine, Delhi), interweaving the expressive with the discursive by linking the exhibition to a transdisciplinary anthology.

Adajania has proposed several new theoretical models and has written extensively on the relationship of art to the public sphere, the pre-history of new media art, public art, the biennial culture and transcultural art practices. She is the editor of the monograph Shilpa Gupta (Prestel, 2010) and co-author of The Dialogues Series (Popular Prakashan/ foundation b&g, Bombay 2011). She was research scholar-inresidence at BAK/ basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, 2010 and 2013. In 2013 and 2014, Adajania taught the curatorial practice course at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Salzburg/Austria. She is juror for Video/Film/New Media at Akademie Schloss Solitude for the fellows of 2015–2017.
Adajania is featured in Carolee Thea’s On Curating 2, Paradigm Shifts: Interviews with 14 International Curators (NY: DAP, 2016).

T. V. Santhosh was born in Kerala. He received his graduate degree with specialisation in sculpture from Santiniketan and Masters in sculpture from M. S. University, Baroda. Santhosh’s works have been shown widely in Museums and Biennales including 56th Venice Biennale; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi; Kochi Muziris Biennale; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; G.S.K. Contemporary show, Royal Academy of arts, London; Havana Biennial and 4th Moscow Biennale, among many others.

Santhosh is an avid cinema follower and shares his interest in World movies with Madhusudhanan.

His sculptural installations are incisive for their take on contemporary geopolitics. He is interested in excavating histories and unfolding hidden meanings through his practice.

Two major volumes have been published on his works – including ‘Unresolved Stories’ by The Guild. Santhosh lives and works in Mumbai and Vadodara.
 

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