After an eight-year hiatus, India returns to the Venice Biennale with the theme ‘Hundred and Fifty years of Mahatma Gandhi’, which is in alignment with the overarching theme of the Biennale — ‘Our Time for a Future Caring’. The India pavilion is curated by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, and commissioned by the National Gallery of Modern Art. The India Pavilion will revisit through diverse art forms, the indelible memory of Mahatma Gandhi, his philosophical ideas, and the many facets of Gandhi that continue to inspire, provoke and challenge the public, intellectuals and artists alike. ‘Our Time for a Future Caring’ is both, a call for attentiveness and an invocation to shared futures. The exhibition weaves together artworks that either emphasize a historical moment, in direct collaboration or association with Gandhi or stage imaginary encounters that resonate contemporary critical thinking, creating an opportunity for a renewed search and investigation into received notions of agency, action, and freedom. The exhibition elucidates the premise that Gandhi’s presence is far from being fixed in time and space. His ideals are difficult to ignore in an increasingly violent and intolerant world.
Spearheaded by the Ministry of Culture, co-organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is the principal partner and curator of the exhibition and the Director General, National Gallery of Modern Art the Commissioner to the project.
A steering committee and a curatorial committee has been formed for the organisation of the India’s participation. It will be the second pavilion of India at the Biennale, since 2011.
According to Adwaita Chavan Gadanayak, director general, National Gallery of Modern Art, Haripura panels created by artist Nandalal Bose at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi shall be on display at the India Pavilion.
Welcoming the opportunity Kiran Nadar, founder and chairperson, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, said, “Disseminating and engaging with South Asian contemporary art on the global art map has been KNMA’s mandate. We have supported, sponsored, and curated international exhibitions of contemporary and modern artists since 2010. It is an honour to be the principal & curatorial partner for the India Pavilion, and represent some significant works by eminent Indian artists at the Venice Biennale.”
Tarana Sawhney, chairperson, the CII taskforce on Art and Culture further added the India Pavilion is an important milestone as it brings together for the first time, both the Ministry of Culture and private art institutions, to showcase contemporary art from our country to a world audience. “It is projects like these that raise interest and change perceptions. The theme too is of utmost relevance in a world divided by volatility. The Mahatma always espoused peaceful means and this presentation will draw attention to that noble philosophy,” she added.
The 58th International Art Exhibition opens on May 11 in Venice, Italy and continues till November 24, 2019.