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Threshold: Forging Narratives in South Asian Contemporary Art

Aicon Gallery
35 Great Jones Street , 212-725-6092
East Village / Lower East Side
February 19 - March 31, 2009
Reception: Thursday, February 19, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Aicon Gallery New York presents Threshold: Forging Narratives in South Asian Contemporary Art, a group show of contemporary artists represented by the gallery. While narratives of the emergence of Indian art have circulated for some time (in particular from auction houses and art fairs), another stage is now being reached: the appearance of large-scale survey shows at museums around the world. This winter sees Indian Highway at London’s Serpentine Gallery, and Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art at Japan’s Mori Art Museum. This is a pivotal moment in the construction of a new object of knowledge, as curators, writers and galleries articulate what will become part of art history. Yet India, with its multiplicity of languages, its multi denominational make-up and its vast contradictions, has a certain resistance to any straightforward process of being ‘produced’. How then to build in a corrective that both constructs a discourse yet is reflexive; that produces knowledge whilst placing a question mark next to it?

It is this spirit of a simultaneous proffering of knowledge whilst questioning that very knowledge that underpins the work of Waseem Ahmed, Jayashree Chakravarty, Reena Saini Kallat, Abir Karmakar, Bose Krishnamachari, Baiju Parthan, Justin Ponmany, Imran Qureshi, Talha Rathore, Indrapramit Roy and T.V. Santhosh, the eleven artists on view in Threshold. A number of the works use misrecognition as a trope, or undermine initial, cursory readings – these include Talha Rathore’s Subway Series and the works of Imran Qureshi. Others offer personal, intimate visions of subjectivity and identities, such as Reena Kallat’s Stamp Works and Abir Karmakar’s self portraits, in place of any grand sweeping statement about what this new object of knowledge, ‘Indian Art’ might be. The inclusion of artists from Pakistan questions that very term anyhow.
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