Jitish Kallat (in conversation with Leeza Ahmady)

FIELD MEETING
October 26th, 2014 New York City

Mumbai-based artist Jitish Kallat, in conversation with Leeza Ahmady, talked about his first-time role as curator, choosing to make art as a teenager, and the evolution of his practice, which has traceable links to his earlier explorations. A prominent figure in contemporary Indian art, working across a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and installation, his work reflects a deep involvement with the city and derives much of its visual language from his immediate urban environment. As curator for the 2nd edition of Kochi-Muziris Biennale, opening on December 12, 2014, Jitish’s talked about the historical significance of Kochi as a port city in India, and his methodology for curating which entailed sharing sets of images and ideas as visual, conceptual or historical cues with artists, as opposed to drafting an all-encompassing curatorial statement. Kochi-Muziris Biennale.

> Watch Jitish Kallat in Conversation with Leeza Ahmady at FIELD MEETING 2014

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Bio – Jitish Kallat (Mumbai)
Jitish Kallat (b. 1974, Mumbai, India) is one of the most prominent figures of Contemporary Indian Art. Working across a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and installation, his work reflects a deep involvement with the city of his and derives much of its visual language from his immediate urban environment. His subject matter has been described previously as ‘the dirty, old, recycled and patched-together fabric of urban India’. Wider concerns include India’s attempts to negotiate its entry into a globalized economy, addressing housing and transportation crises, city planning, caste and communal tensions, and government accountability.Many of Kallat’s works focus on Mumbai’s downtrodden or dispossessed inhabitants, though treating them in a bold, colorful and highly graphic manner. Kallat traditionally mounts his paintings on bronze sculptures that are re-created from the wall adornments found on the 120-year-old Victoria Terminus train station in the center of Mumbai. Kallat was appointed curator for the Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2014.

Kallat participated in major exhibitions about Indian art such as India: Art Now at the Arken Museum, Ishoj, Denmark (2012-13); Public Notice 3 at the Art Institute of Chicago (2010-2011); Indian Highway IV at MAXXI, Rome, Italy (2012) and at Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France (2011); The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today at Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2010); Chalo! India: A New Era of Indian Art at Essl Museum – Contemporary Art, Klosterneuburg, Austria and at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (both 2009); Indian Highway at the Serpentine Gallery, London, UK (2008-09), Die Tropen. Ansichten von der Mitte der Weltkugel at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany (2008); Urban Manners at Hangar Bicocca, Milan, Italy (2007) and Century City at Tate Modern, London, UK (2001). Solo presentations include Circa at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia (2012); Fieldnotes: Tomorrow was here Yesterday at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai, India (2011); Likewise at Arndt, Berlin, Germany (2010); The Astronomy of the Subway at Haunch of Venison, London, UK (2010); Aquasaurus at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Paddington, Australia (2008) and Lonely Facts at the Kunsthalle Luckenwalde, Luckenwalde, Germany (1998).

(Source: http://www.arndtberlin.com/website/artist_1066)

Image Courtesy of Jitish Kallat