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Writing queer transnational South Asian art histories

According to the author, queer as an identification and subjectivity is important to his writing of transnational South Asian art histories. This book talks about new transnational South Asian art histories, to make visible histories of artworks that remain marginalised within the discipline of art history. This is done through a deliberate 'productive failure', by not upholding the strictly genealogical approach. The book discusses authorship by examining the writing about the work of Anish Kapoor to explore the shifting manner in which critics and art historians have identified him and his work. It focuses on the author's own identification as queer and South Asian American to put pressure on the coherency of an LGBTQI art history. It connects formal similarities of abstract work produced in the 1960s in New York City by Cy Twombly and Natvar Bhavsar. The book deals with an art history that concerns facile categories such as South Asian/non-South Asian and black/white, and discusses the works of Stephen Dean, Mario Pfeifer, Adrian Margaret Smith Piper, and Kehinde Wiley. It focuses on practice-led research by discussing 'Sphere:dreamz,; which was produced by queer-identified South Asian women. Continuing the focus, the book looks at the multi-site exhibition 'Mixing It Up: Queering Curry Mile and Currying Canal Street', organised by the author in 2007. It addresses the question of how certain subjects are considered as 'belonging' and others as not; and the role of art in the reconstitution of notions of 'home' and transnational South Asian art histories.

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Afterword At the core of my approach to the writing of transnational South Asian art histories in this volume is a constant reassessment of belongingness. I argue that when belonging is kept open and porous, art histories (more broadly) can be dynamic and ever changing. The need or longing to belong is powerful but to what one belongs is best thought of as ‘multiple and One’ per Édouard Glissant.1 In this way, the supplementarity of a transnational South Asian art history need not be one that is interminable. Rather, it can be recast as a constant mode of

in Productive failure
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Writing queer feminist transnational South Asian art histories

Space/site: writing queer feminist transnational South Asian art histories In 2003 the city of Manchester, England, was deemed the most ‘bohemian’ and ‘creative’ city according to the ‘Boho (or Bohemian) Britain Index’ of 40 UK cities.1 The Boho Index uses three indices – ethnic diversity, proportion of gay residents and number of patent applications per head – as key indicators of the city’s economic health, and Manchester unsurprisingly scores high in all these areas.2 Indeed, its reputation once based on a thriving industrial centre, the city of Manchester

in Productive failure
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Producing art, producing art history

production and execution of the projects discussed here, the chapters mutually informed each other. Chapter 5 pivoted around Sphere:dreamz and my material investigation of the Gay Village and Curry Mile as bounded spaces in my exploration of how to write queer feminist transnational art histories. This chapter explores Mixing It Up, the general and cultural marketing of the Gay Village relative to Curry Mile and the notion of ‘practice-led’ research and how it relates to writing transnational South Asian art histories – not just feminist ones although many of the works do

in Productive failure
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Towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories

Introduction: towards creolizing transnational South Asian art histories Even the History of Art at the End of the Universe is not as far out as its proponents have claimed … Not every artwork made … is visible, and it is possible that there are many more that have not been counted, even by their curators or by art historians, simply because they have never been seen. When considering anything in deep space it is essential to remember a fundamental maxim of inter-planetary travel – L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux (‘What is essential is invisible to the

in Productive failure
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Writing as a racial pharmakon

South Asian art histories. That is, I cannot explore whiteness in relation to what I provisionally refer to as brownness without acknowledging whiteness’s other: blackness. Dyer writes that no other colour but white has a complete opposite.3 More specifically, I explore artworks, their consumption by critics and curators as well as my own experience viewing them, in person where possible, by four artists: Stephen Dean (b. 1968), Mario Pfeifer (b. 1981), Adrian Margaret Smith Piper (b. 1948) and Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977). With the exception of Piper, who is one

in Productive failure
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colonial visuality in South Asian art history, a response no doubt to the significance of perspective within the larger narrative of art history itself. However, Edward Moor’s frontispiece of Ganesh posits another aspect of the colonial vision machine that is overlooked in Pinney’s analysis: the brilliant burst of light that crowns the sculpture to endow it with the reverence accorded to a sacred object. It casts a diffuse shadow in the background and a more defined shadow at the foot of the sculpture, violating a central premise of Hindu belief – that the gods, unlike

in Empires of light