FIRST FRIDAY LECTURE: SONAL KHULLAR
DEC 5 2014
SEATTLE ART MUSEUM
11 AM – NOON
The Mela (Fair) and the Museum: Contemporary Art and Public Culture in India
Sonal Khullar, Assistant Professor in South Asian Art at the University of Washington, discusses SAM's exhibition City Dwellers: Contemporary Art From India. This talk situates City Dwellers in the context of recent exhibitions of contemporary Indian art in the West and debates on public culture, theorized by scholars as a contact zone between elite and popular practices in South Asia. Many of the artworks in the show engage popular visual culture and vernacular culture industries associated with the bazaar (market) in South Asia. They recall the operations of the mela (fair), an extraordinary type of bazaar, and blur the boundaries between the public and private, secular and sacred, high and low. The artists in City Dwellersoffer a distinctive view of the city, globalization, and post-liberalization India. Their work also summons a long history of modernism and modernity through close engagements with colonial photographers, nationalist leaders, film stars, and modern artists. Tracing connections between modern and contemporary art, I show how visual art in India functions as a critique of society and politics, and as a domain of action and reflection.
Following the lecture, join the SAM Volunteer Association for their holiday reception in the Simons Board Room.
Admission is free to members and adults over the age of 62 on the First Friday of every month. For other visitors, this lecture is free with museum admission.