Extending Mahatma Gandhi‘s 150th birth anniversary celebrations to foreign shores, the India pavilion at the upcoming Venice Biennale has been themed ‘150 years of Mahatma Gandhi’.
The pavilion has been commissioned by the National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) and will be curated by the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art (KNMA).
This will be the second pavilion from India at the Biennale, after 2011.
India’s participation in one of the world’s most important art events is facilitated by the Ministry of Culture and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
“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,” KNMA said in a statement on Wednesday.
India’s exhibition titled ‘Our Time for Future Caring’ is both, a call for attentiveness and an invocation to shared futures.
“The exhibition weaves together artworks that either emphasise 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,” KNMA said.
CII taskforce on Art and Culture Chairperson Tarana Sawhney called the pavilion an important milestone as it “brings together the Ministry of Culture and private art institutions to showcase contemporary art from India 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 said in a statement.
A steering committee and a curatorial committee have been formed for selection of modern and contemporary artworks that will be showcased at the Pavilion.
The names of the artists will be announced soon, the organisers said.
NGMA Director General Adwaita Gadanayak said the Pavilion will also display Haripura Panels created by artist Nandalal Bose at the behest of Mahatma Gandhi.
The 58th edition of the art biennale opens in Venice (Italy) on May 11 and continues till November 24.