mardi 28 juin 2011

A heady success story

Source Deccan Chronicle by Gayatri Reddy
Apart from being India’s most famous sculptor, G. Ravinder Reddy is also arguably, one of the country’s most modest artists. When asked how he feels about one of his works being sold for Rs 1.41 crore at a recent auction at Christies, he replies, “Really... it sold for so much. I had no idea. My job is to work on the sculptures, selling them is not my domain.” He seems content with the knowledge that people appreciate his work. He also has no idea who his buyers are.
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Art as alternative investment

Source Business Standard by Abhay Rao

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dimanche 26 juin 2011

Indian art is flavour of Paris spring-summer

Source Times of India by Madhusree Chatterjee
The ArtParis Fair 2011 from March 31 to April 3, presented showcase of tribal and contemporary art by artists Jivya Soma Mashe, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Chano Devi, Bhuri Bai, and Pushpamala N., Mithu Sen, Jagannath Panda, Anita Dube, Rashid Rana. The 18th and 19th century royal court of Lucknow transplanted itself at the Guimet Museum with a retrospective of 200 works documenting the period. "The response to the exhibitions in France have been mixed. In the Venice Biennale 2011, India made an understated and innovative statement. The country needs an independent experts' panel to project Indian art abroad. It is not possible for ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) or the Lalit Kala Akademi to do it," said Ashok Vajpeyi, chairperson of the Akademi.
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samedi 25 juin 2011

L'art primitif au sommet

Source Le Monde Argent par Roxana Azimi
Les ventes d'art primitif organisées par Christie's et Sotheby's ont confirmé l'excellente santé de ce segment du marché. Le 14 juin, chez Christie's, la collection Hotz couplée à une vente spécialisée en art africain et océanien totalisait 5,8 millions d'euros. Mais le feu d'artifice est venu le lendemain chez Sotheby's, avec une dispersion générant 15,2 millions d'euros. A cette occasion, une figure de reliquaire fang a atteint les 2,5 millions d'euros. Sans égaler toutefois le record de 5 millions d'euros déboursé par Liliane Bettencourt pour un masque fang dans la vente Pierre et Claude Vérité en 2006. L'art océanien fut aussi de la fête. Une figure de proue des îles Salomon s'est adjugée pour 1,5 million d'euros, tandis qu'un repose-pieds de bâton à fouir maori, estimé à 100 000 euros, s'est envolé à 1,4 million d'euros.

Why Did M.F. Husain, India's Most Famous Artist, Die in Exile?

Source Art Info by Projjol Dutta
Maqbool Fida Husain, the most famous exiled Indian ever, passed away in London on June 9, 2011. Post-independence India has welcomed exiles like J.B.S. Haldane and Taslima Nasreen, fleeing the political and religious persecution of their native lands, but it does not have a long list of exiled citizens. Even after the excesses of the unpopular "Emergency," a period of time between 1975 and 1977 when democracy was suspended, its author, Indira Gandhi, was able to live out her banishment, a few miles away from her former prime-ministerial residence. So what caused Husain, a 95-year-old painter, to die distant from the land that was his muse?
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He's worth it

Source Business Standard by Kishore Singh
What is it about Tyeb Mehta that makes these astounding sums pale against the quality of his work? Art critics point to the somewhat odious comparisons with Francis Bacon, and within the Indian love for detailing to his minimalism, but it is their compelling power and hypnotic appeal that make Mehta’s canvases magical. His Kali and Mahishasura, for instance, point to violence and horror with minimum strokes and a lack of gimmickry, but the fantastic energy and primordial violence of his brushstrokes are potent weapons.
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vendredi 24 juin 2011

‘The art world is exploding’

Source Financial Times by Peter Aspden
But it is not as if the US and Europe are being left behind. “Last year, 28 per cent of our buyers were new to the market and of those, 47 per cent came from the US and Europe. It’s not only the new Chinese buyers.” Younger buyers are entering the market and behaving in a much more eclectic way. “They are not exclusively tied to any one speciality.” He cites another “favourite” client who recently bought a Seurat drawing, some Bergère chairs and a Roman torso. “These folks could just as well be buying an 11th-century Islamic manuscript as a beautiful work of art.”
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Le Musée du Quai-Branly, cinq ans et déjà trop petit

Source La Croix par Cécile Jaurès et Sabine Gignoux
L’éclectisme de la programmation a aussi ses revers. Après un succès exceptionnel en 2009 (1,496 million de visiteurs), grâce à l’exposition sur l’art précolombien de Teotihuacan, la fréquentation du musée a diminué de 11 % en 2010, tombant à 1,326 million de visiteurs, sous son niveau de 2008 (1,389 million). Les deux grandes expositions dans la galerie en rez-de-jardin – « Baba Bling », sur la diaspora chinoise à Singapour, et « Autres maîtres de l’Inde », sur l’art des minorités tribales – n’ont pas convaincu.
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jeudi 23 juin 2011

India’s modern and contemporary art market wobbles

Source The Independent by John Elliott
...It looks as if the top end of the Indian modern and contemporary art market is wobbling... Art Tactic, a London-based analysis firm, points out that the market is now moving on a “negative trend as other global markets are on the rise” with recent auctions coming in 21% below estimates and 18% below results last March... This underlines the fact that, despite its earlier boom, Indian art has never captured China’s level of international attention... Hugo Weihe, who runs the Christie’s auctions, says that the results shows that it is “necessary to get the quality and the price right to achieve sales”. Dealers talk about difficulty finding and persuading buyers to offer good works that will fetch top prices.. This is not a market for investors looking for quick profits, but it is good for committed collectors, newcomers and established buyers, with the best works selling well if offered at sensible prices.
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mercredi 22 juin 2011

Tyeb Mehta's 'Kali' sells for record Rs 5.72 crore

Source The Economic Times
Master artist Tyeb Mehta scaled a new record in Indian art as his 1998 untitled work went for Rs 5.72 crore at Saffronart's auction, setting a new record in online bidding. Mehta's Untitled (Kali) painting was sold for the record price at the two-day auction that concluded on June 16 and fetched a total of Rs 17.5 crore in sales. The 30 inches x 24 inches painting that eventually sold much higher than its presale estimate of Rs 1.25-1.75 crore, was the last Mehta did in his 'Kali' series.
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World record mobile bid of Rs 4.61 cr at Saffronart's online auction of Indian art

Source Business Standard
“The success of this sale strengthens our core belief that the internet is an ideal medium to reach and engage collectors. Several clients also monitored the progress of the auction and bid through Saffronart’s mobile application, underling their confidence in the transparency and accessibility that Saffronart has always stood for. The world record bid we received of over $1 million from a collector using the Saffronart auctions mobile application speaks volumes for our clients’ confidence in using our technology.”
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mardi 21 juin 2011

At the Venice Biennale, national artists know no boundaries

Source Los Angeles Times by Jori Finkel
The Biennale was founded in 1895 with a group exhibition format that continues today, and organizers decided early on to invite foreign countries to set up their own exhibition halls and showcase their leading artists on the model of a world's fair. Over the years, several countries built pavilions in the Giardini park in an architectural style of their choice, which are still in use. But the very concept of the national pavilions has come under attack. Contemporary artists and curators on the whole do not like to color within the lines, especially when those lines are national borders. "The pavilions work well architecturally — you have these great spaces to work in," says Ranjit Hoskote, a Mumbai writer and curator who organized the pavilion for India, one of seven countries participating in the Biennale for the first time."But to keep the model relevant today, when so many people have migrant or hybrid heritage, you have to think beyond national borders. You need a transnational imagination."
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mardi 14 juin 2011

Paris-Delhi-Bombay - review

Source The Guardian by Harry Bellet and Philippe Dagen
Under the circumstances, Paris-Delhi-Bombay can hardly claim to be an experimental show, which is probably why its curators have adopted a different approach to previous exhibitions. The subject is not Indian art itself (or arts to reflect the diversity) but how the subcontinent is perceived by some 30 Indian artists all familiar with the practice of international contemporary art. There is no sign here of traditional, tribal art forms.
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Asian Collectors Showcase Works

Source The New York Times by Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop
When the Indonesian-Chinese collector Budi Tek, also known in China as Yu Deyao, bought a 1992 masterpiece by Zhang Xiaogang at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong last autumn, he didn’t intend to decorate an office wall or keep it hidden in a warehouse. Mr. Tek — who paid 52.18 million Hong Kong dollars, or $6.69 million, for “Chapter of a New Century — Birth of the People’s Republic of China II” — plans to showcase the work in a new private museum, the De Museum, that will be under construction later this year and is expected to open in 2013.
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lundi 13 juin 2011

Rickshaw Painting Sells for $3.24 Million

Source The Wall Street Journal by Margherita Stancati
An untitled work by Tyeb Mehta, which shows a figure reclining on a rickshaw, sold for $3.24 million at Christie’s in London Thursday evening, setting a new auction record for the Indian artist. This is the second-highest sum ever paid for an Indian painting at an international auction. Syed Haider Raza’s “Saurashtra” (1983), which sold for $3.5 million about a year ago, is the only work in this category that sold for more. Mr. Mehta’s “Untitled (Figure on Rickshaw)” (1984) broke the artist’s earlier $2.8-million record sale for his diptych “Bulls.” Hand-pulled rickshaws, a running theme in Mr. Mehta’s work, are still a common feature of Kolkata’s urban landscape. His untitled painting is part of a broader series on rickshaw pullers, a symbol of India’s marginalized city dwellers.
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Le "Picasso de l'Inde", M.F. Husain, s'éteint à 95 ans à Londres

Source Aujourd'hui l'Inde
Ces tableaux colorés dataient des années 70 mais leur publication en 1996 dans un magazine hindou mit le feu aux poudres. A la suite de menaces proférées par un groupe hindou radical qui avait mis sa tête à prix pour 11,5 millions de dollars et de plusieurs plaintes pour avoir heurté "la sensibilité hindoue", il avait quitté l'Inde et sa ville de Bombay pour vivre au Qatar, dont il a pris la nationalité en 2010. En 2008, les œuvres de Husain, qui fut aussi réalisateur, producteur et scénariste, furent attaquées par des activistes du Bajrang Dal, une organisation politico-religieuse nationaliste hindoue, lors d'une exposition à New Delhi.
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dimanche 12 juin 2011

New voices

Source The Hindu by Shailaja Tripathi
Pratik Prabhakar and Shanti Bai Maravi, now participating in the Devi Art Foundation's show, “Vernacular, in the Contemporary Part II”, in New Delhi."I would like to be viewed as an artist but how can we expect all this to change so soon? It has spent only around 46 years on paper and it is still viewed as folk art and craft." Pratik Prabhakar
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'Attack on artistic freedom is our shame'

Source The Economic Times
Husain had humble origins. In his youth, he scraped together a living by painting film advertisements on hoardings. He and others broke from the traditional Bengal school of painting to form the Progressive Artists' Group. This aimed at modern art that nevertheless had deep roots in Indian culture and religion. Husain painted hundreds of paintings based on epics like the Ramayana and Mahabharata . He constantly took inspiration from rural India, tribal art and Bollywood films. His muses included Madhuri Dixit, Vidya Balan and Anushka Sharma.
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Bangladeshi Art Has Its Biennale Debut

Source The Wall Street Journal by Margherita Stancati
Indian contemporary art made its debut at this year’s Venice Biennale, a show that tops the agenda of art lovers worldwide. The Biennale, which takes place in Italy’s lagoon city every two years and is now in its 54th edition, opened to the public on Saturday. But India is not alone: Another South Asian country is having its own, quieter Venice debut–Bangladesh. Speaking to India Real Time on the day of the inauguration, Paolo Tamburella, co-curator of the country’s pavilion, says lack of resources and poor communication, normally make it “very difficult” for Bangladesh’s contemporary art to have global reach. He says the country’s presence at the Biennale, which is on till November, now gives it “the possibility of being inside an international arena.”
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Christie's London auction of South Asian art grosses Pound 4.3 million

Source The Economic Times by Ashoke Nag
Christie's London auction of South Asian art has grossed £4.3 million. 78% of the lots have been sold out. The top ten artworks in the auction are Tyeb Mehta's Untititled (Figure on Rickshaw) , Atul Dodiya's Father, Jitish Kallat's Untitled (Eclipse) - 3 and Jehangir Sabavala's Whispered Intimations. On the top ten ladder are also F N Souza's Untitled (French Doors), Souza's Nude Metamorphosed Into Insect, Souza's Landscape with Buildings, Souza's Unititled (Flagellation of Christ), Nilima Sheikh's Going Away and Jagdish Swaminathan's Untitled (Bird and Mountain Series. While the Tyeb Mehta, acquired by a European private collector, touched a new high for the artist at £1,973,250 against an estimate of £800,000-1,200,000, Nilima Sheikh also achieved a world record for herself with a price of £79,250 compared to an estimate of £60,000-80,000. Dodiya swung £265,250, crossing the estimate £150,000-250,000, while Kallat fetched £145,250 against the estimate £120,000-180,000.
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Portrait of a recluse

Source Deccan Herald by Giridhar Khasnis
Vasudeo Gaitonde’s paintings are hailed for their mysterious forms, striking colours and textures, writes Giridhar Khasnis, remembering the reclusive abstractionist on his 10th death anniversary. He immersed himself in both figurative and abstract art, taking a fascination to the work of Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky and Georges Rouault. Paul Klee was a personal favourite: “Something in (Klee’s) use of the line excited me; I gradually came to identify myself in his work. I liked Klee’s imagination and fantasy…” He was also influenced by Indian miniatures and confessed to copying them. “Their vivid, vital, vibrant colours attracted me. Soon, to study the colours more closely, I started eliminating the figures and just saw the proportion of colours. I experimented with this because figures can bind you. I just took patterns instead. This step marked the beginning of my interest in colour.”
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«Le Picasso de l'Inde» est décédé

Source Paris Art par Elisa Fedeli
Alors que la France se met à l'heure indienne, avec plusieurs grandes expositions consacrées à cette scène artistique émergente, l'artiste Maqbool Fida Husain — celui qu'on appelait le «Picasso de l'Inde» — est décédé. Absent des cimaises dans les deux grandes expositions actuellement consacrées à l'art indien («Paris-Delhi-Bombay» au Centre Pompidou et «Indian Highway IV» au MAC à Lyon), Maqbool Fida Husain a pourtant ouvert la voie à l'art contemporain de son pays.
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vendredi 10 juin 2011

M.F. Husain, India's Most Successful and Most Controversial Artist, Passes Away at 95

Source Art Info by Julia Halperin
"Husain never aged," Indian artist Anjolie Ela Menon told the BBC. "He retained his energy, humour and his amazing capacity to work. He was restless, often saying he never had a bedroom in which he slept. He was a nomad, a gypsy."
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Please go back; MF just smiled

Source The Telegraph by Amit Roy
M.F. Husain was quite eccentric and funny. And loved by almost all who knew him. One moment he would be there chatting to you, the next moment, a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel, he would be gone. He was tall, slim. His sartorial style did not vary: black shirt, black jacket, black trousers, a walking stick shaped like a paintbrush, thick wavy white hair and sometimes, but not always, in bare feet.
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Farewell to Fida

Source Deccan Chronicle by Divya Sehgal
Art collector Abhishek Poddar who was a personal friend of the artist recounts his association with him. “I knew him since I was a kid, for 25 years and have had some lovely moments with him. I met him last in London and we spent two days together. He was ailing even then, but was still painting frantically. He led a full and active life. The country lost him long back, but it’s a huge loss for the people who knew him and loved his art.”
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The face of Indian contemporary art

Source The Hindu by Mukund Padmanabhan
Maqbool Fida Husain was not merely the most recognisable name in Indian contemporary art. His paintings, marked by a signature style and a desire to explore the abstract through the figurative, were also the most easily identifiable. His iconic status of course was not based on the huge popularity of his works and his legendary prolificacy (it is estimated he did more than 10,000 paintings). It lay in his rare ability to develop a unique artistic language that was a complex fusion of the Indian visual idiom and contemporary western norms.
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mercredi 8 juin 2011

Artist and legend MF Husain dies in London

Source NDTV
Maqbool Fida Husain, one of India's best-known artists, has died in a London hospital early this morning, reports the Hindustan Times. His family has not commented on the report. He was 95.
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Visions de l’Inde à l’autre

Source Libération par Eric Loret
C’est bizarre. On se rend au centre Pompidou pour essayer de rejoindre New Delhi et on se retrouve dans un TGV pour Lyon. Sans doute parce que l’exposition dans cette ville s’intitule «Indian Highway IV», autoroute indienne, et que celle de Paris, plus en forme d’impasse, n’est que l’apéritif de la première.
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Le printemps indien

Source Télérama par Olivier Cena
Au siècle dernier, l'art indien laissait la plupart des Occidentaux indifférents. En dehors des posters de mandalas post-hippies, des oeuvres bouddhistes traditionnelles et des sculptures de l'ethnie Naga collectionnées par quelques aficionados, seule sa musique trouvait grâce aux oreilles de certains - George Harrison pour la pop (Ravi Shankar), John McLaughlin pour le jazz (le Mahavisnu Orchestra et Shakti dans les années 1970) et quelques aventuriers de la musique classique (Yehudi Menuhin ou Jean-Pierre Rampal). L'Inde restait pittoresque et folklorique. Mais le pays est devenu émergent : l'économie se développe, le niveau de vie augmente, les fortunes surviennent, et le marché de l'art, comme celui du luxe, flairant les bonnes affaires, s'installe. L'institution suit.
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lundi 6 juin 2011

Indian art from the estate of the late and legendary Stuart Cary Welch

Source The Economist
Last week saw the final round of Sotheby's spring sales of Indian art from the estate of the late and legendary Stuart Cary Welch. Three years after his death, aged 80, Welch's legacy is keenly felt. The first sale in April concentrated on Islamic material and totalled £20.9m ($34.4m), seven times the low estimate and a world auction record for Islamic art. (Totals include the buyer's premium; estimates do not.) An illustrated page from the Shahnameh of Shah Tahmasp, the most esteemed edition of the 11th-century Persian epic poem, sold for £7.4m, triple the pre-sale figure and a world auction record for a single Islamic lot.
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dimanche 5 juin 2011

The twain don’t meet

Source Livemint by Anindita Ghose
Centre Pompidou’s ambitious exhibition with French and Indian artists is far from the ‘dialogue’ it was meant to be.
Atul Dodiya had the reverse conundrum. He says he’d offered to create works for the show but didn’t get a response from the organizers. He is confused about the artworks selected for the show: Charu will be shown alongside a dark political artwork that comments on dowry deaths, Mahalaxmi (2002). “I know it’s a lengthier process but I prefer one in which the curators and artists discuss what they will show...”When we speak, a week before the show’s opening, Dodiya isn’t clear on the show details. He doesn’t even know that French artists are part of the same exhibition. In his catalogue text, Paris-based art historian Deepak Ananth writes that “a certain idea of India” is probably what will come to mind to viewers visiting this exhibition. He takes the title from the name of Italian novelist Alberto Moravia’s account of his 1961 trip to the subcontinent with the poet Pier Paolo Pasolini. Both wrote distinctly different accounts of the same trip: Moravia’s, a nuanced, elegant analysis, and Pasolini’s, a restless impression. Ananth suggests that one can choose any lens to view India. This exhibition, it seems, steers clear of choosing one.
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Focus Indien

Source Artnet par Joël Riff. Photo : Chandramohan, Galerie Benamou, Paris.
« Une image trop attendue (cliché) ne paraîtra jamais juste, même si elle l’est. » (Robert Bresson, Notes sur le cinématographe, Edition Gallimard, 1975).
Itinéraire d’expositions d’art contemporain mettant l’Inde à l’honneur à découvrir sur Artnet :
> lire le programme des expositions

"Love Is Looking at Each Person as Unique"

Source Art Info by Mary Dailey Pattee
A Q&A With French Pavilion Artist Christian Boltanski on Bringing the Disappeared Back to Life.
Yes that's very true. I really consider myself as a humanist. I am a lover of humanity and above all, what is very important in my view, is to recognize that each person is unique and each person has a way of looking and loving, and of getting mad. Love is looking at each person as unique and it is for that reason that I make a lot of work that gives names or uses names because its a way of showing the uniqueness of each person. I often think about the approach of Nan Goldin, who, as I say all the time, is the most Christian artist that I know because she looks with love. The beauty of the work of Nan Goldin is that she can take an old man who looks ridiculous and make him into a marvel because she is able to transform people through this loving eye. When I speak of love that's what it is, it is the knowledge and recognition of the uniqueness of each person.
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samedi 4 juin 2011


Imagine an Indian Pavillon at the Venice Biennial with Nasreen Mohamedi and Jangarh Singh Shyam side by side...
"You may say i'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
Hervé Perdriolle in memory of John Lennon and Jagdish Swaminathan
(photo : Swaminathan, Tribal Welfare Department Madya Pradesh)

jeudi 2 juin 2011

Lucknow, Rina Banerjee et Antonio Martinelli au Musée Guimet

Source Arte
Une exposition de photographies d’Antonio Martinelli offrira un autre regard sur les splendeurs architecturales et les paysages de Lucknow d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, comme une invitation au voyage et à la contemplation… En écho à l’exposition « Une cour royale en Inde : Lucknow (XVIIIe – XIXe siècle) », une série de photographies contemporaines sera présentée dans la rotonde du quatrième étage du musée Guimet. En parallèle, le musée Guimet présente « Chimères de l’Inde et de l’Occident », œuvres contemporaines de l’artiste américaine d’origine indienne Rina Banerjee. Installées au cœur des collections permanentes, les compositions hybrides et poétiques de Rina Banerjee entrent en résonance avec les œuvres millénaires du musée.
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Why The Venice Biennale's Bice Curiger Is Right in Defending The National Pavilions

Source Huffpost Arts by G. Roger Denson
We are, after all, residents of native cultures, though in the great urban centers of the world, our ethnocentrisms are becoming so porous as to be reaching the point of becoming mutable. With this in mind we should remember that nomadic appreciation of difference isn't intended to wipe out identity. It's meant to ensure that we possess reflexive minds capable of preventing cultural discourse and art from dissolving into narcissistic, authoritarian and myopic canons.
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