Kanika Pruthi of Saffronart ponders over the multiple identities and many homes of the global citizen, prompted by the ongoing exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bengaluru, India
New York: This summer sees the arrival of the much awaited travelling exhibition titled Homelands: A 21st Century Story of Home, Away, and All the Places In Between to the National Gallery of Modern Art in Bengaluru. British Council’s flagship art project for the year 2013 the exhibition features over 80 works by 28 international artists. Having shown in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai, it has received over 50,000 visitors already.
Curated by Latika Gupta, the exhibition derives from the extensive collection of the British Council, UK’s international agency for educational and cultural relations in India. The selection of contemporary British artists, including nine Turner Prize winners and nominees, present the viewer with an eclectic take on a relevant and globally shared theme- that of identity. Four of the showcasing artists visiting India include Mona Hatoum, Anthony Haughey, Zineb Sedira and Suki Dhanda. As expressed on their website “the show excavates the idea of a ‘homeland’ to reveal a rich plurality of meaning; ideas of belonging, alienation, history and memory.”
Latika Gupta aptly words the identity crisis faced by many and succinctly dealt by the artists in this exhibition. “Today, many of us move across national boundaries. We are born in one country, we make another our home. In the criss-crossing of political, social and cultural borders, we live our lives through hyphenated identities: belonging here and there; inhabiting multiple places – both physical and metaphorical. Geographies that can be mapped as inter/national boundaries and as places conjured up by through remembering and imagining,”
The British Council initiative has been lauded for its effort to strengthen public-private partnership to provide a new funding model for the arts in India. This exhibition is supported by Jaguar, Christie’s and Kotak Mahindra Bank Limited.
Homelands is accompanied by a diverse outreach program that includes artist talks, seminars, curator-led walks, outreach activities and workshops. The exhibition runs from July 6 to August 14 at the NGMA, Bengaluru.