INLAKS CURATORIAL LAB AT THE SCHOOL FOR ART AND AESTHETICS AT THE JAWARHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY, Delhi
The Foundation initiated a lab in Curatorial Studies with was conducted at the School for Art and Aesthetics (SAA) at the Jawarharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi.
The initial session started in the monsoon session of the academic year 2013-2014. The course titles, ‘Shifting Focus: Special Topics in Indian Art: Introduction to Curatorial Practice’, was conducted by visiting professor Susan Hapgood. Attended by MPhil Visual Studies students, the course culminated in an exhibition called ‘Mapping Gender: Bodies and Sexualities in Contemporary Art Across the Global South’. The exhibition held at SAA, ran from 15th November to 13th December 2013. A publication to support the exhibition was launched at the Goethe Institute.
In 2014, the Curatorial Lab was run by Gayatri Sinha, an eminent Delhi based art critic-curator. The course content was adapted to move between curatorial theory and contemporary art history to get a sense of location.
‘The Missing Pavilion’, the exhibition staged by the students in December 2014, at the SAA gallery, represented the conceptual possibility of the poetics of cultural loss through absence i.e. the state’s inability to stage cultural events, sustain institutions, manage its archeological heritage and give its citizens a cogent sense of the value of material culture. Since it concerned the structures of absence, its definition was potentially large, though within the domain of the abstract. A catalogue supporting the exhibition was released at the opening of the show.
In 2015, the course for the MPhil students was divided into five parts: The first, run by Professor Maya Kovskaya, a well known political cultural theorist, art critic ad curator, was a workshop course called the Introductory Curatorial Intensive. The second part, a course run in early 2016 by the RAQs Media Collective was titled ‘Alternating Curatorial Content, a course on Curatorial Investigation and Methodology’. This was followed by a curatorial event featuring performances and displays at the SAA gallery in April. Fourth was a publication, by the students, which was distributed to the art community and to institutions and lastly was the participation of some students as student curators at the Kochi Biennale in December 2016.
In conclusion to the Inlaks Curatorial Lab, the School of Art and Aesthetics (SAA) of the Jawaharlal Nehru University hosted a two-day workshop of insightful dialogue, titled When Does Curatorial Work End? in January 2017. The workshop saw young and veteran practitioners come together to share discerning points of view on the evolution of curatorial practices.