A Piece of Sky: A Walkabout at India Art Summit ‘09

Experiencing Installation Art by: Anish Kapoor, El Anatsui, Jagdish Kumar, Mayura Subhedar, Sudarshan Shetty, Suchitra Gahlot and Subodh Gupta.

20-22nd August, 2009 / 3:00 PM

 “The time had come; To try my wings…
And even though it seemed at any moment I could fall,
I felt the most amazing things…
The things you can’t imagine; If you’ve never flown at all.”

 From Assemblage to Project Art, Temporal Art, Environment, Land Art and so on…Installation Art has been assigned several labels and yet in essence it remains an unbracketed, ceaselessly shifting spectrum; re-inventing itself, amalgamating disparate art practices and maintaining an inextricable connect with life.

While early Installation works were often created as spontaneous, peripheral art initiatives; in recent years they have come to hold prominence in the contemporary artscape, gaining commercial value and popular viewership across the world. While the early 60s have been ear-marked as the period when installation art gained maturity in the West (mostly Europe and USA); in India and the sub-continent at large, installation art is still in the stage of self-discovery as fresh attempts are being made to create art environments that encompass the lived moment, personal histories and shared narratives. As a consequence, they present new challenges to conventional art patronage and obsolete rigidities of art history.

By inviting the onlooker to walk into, onto and around it, an installation stimulates active spectator participation – therefore, residing as an organic element in dialogue with surrounding spaces and people. It does not have a predetermined destination as at a core level it survives as a dynamic entity – open to re-packaging, de-construction and circulation.

Through this walkabout I hope to encourage visitors to interact with a few of the displayed installations in a critical manner and reflect upon some of the crucial questions that the works raise for us.


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