chapter  5
27 Pages

Transcultural dissonances in the contemporary art world

Museo Nazionale Delle Arti Del XXI Secolo, Rome 2012
ByCathrine Bublatzky

With the MAXXI museum in Rome and the analysis of the Indian Highway exhibition at this venue, the discussion starts with the notion of the art-architecture complex (Foster) and a closer look at the architectural site of the museum, which was designed by star architect Zara Hadid. With the idea that the museum as an art object has an important influence on the art exhibited inside, the discussion proceeds with the curatorial agenda of “A 360-degree portrait of the Indian subcontinent – nationalising Indian art” and the observation of existing relations and impacts between the museum, the cultural context of the city, and notions of nationalization. This is supported with insights into the meeting with curator Giulia Ferracci and a joint exhibition walk. The section “Memory, materiality, emotions” provides an analysis of moments of transits, meaning change, and individual identity transformation and a critical reflection on the curatorial concept of evoking similarities between India and Italy. With focus on the difficult “readability” of the exhibition, the discussion turns towards the critic on the European perception of Indian contemporary art, along with intense references to conversations with artist Ravi Agarwal and Shuddhabrata Sengupta on some problems with the survey format.