In Conversation: Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev with William Kentridge and Nalini Malani

The Shadow Play as Medium of Memory


The Kiran Nadar Museum of Art is pleased to present, ‘The Shadow Play as Medium of Memory’, a conversation between Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and artists William Kentridge and Nalini Malani, with focus on their artistic practices. The conversation is inspired by Andreas Huyssen’s book ‘The Shadow Play as Medium of Memory’.

Curator, researcher and scholar Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was born in 1957, Ridgewood, New Jersey. She is the director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and of Fondazione Francesco Federico Cerruti. She holds a visiting professorship at Northwestern University, and has taught at the University of Leeds, at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt Am Main and at Harvard University. She had begun her career in the arts, writing reviews for the magazine Reporter and for the newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore. Friendships with artists in Italy and internationally, including William Kentridge, Alighiero Boetti, Pierre Huyghe, and Francis Alÿs amongst others, propelled her curatorial practice.  Christov has engaged extensively with the artistic practice of both William Kentridge and Nalini Malani.

William Kentridge was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1955. He attended the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (1973–76), Johannesburg Art Foundation (1976–78), and studied mime and theater at L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq, Paris (1981–82). Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, Kentridge transforms critical social and political events into poignant artistic allegories. Photographing his charcoal drawings and paper collages over time, and recording scenes as they evolve, is Kentridge’s distinguished style.

Nalini Malani, was born in Karachi in 1946, she lives, and works in Mumbai. Graduating from Sir J J School of Art, Mumbai, 1969, her practice began with experimental film and photography. Questioning conventional painting traditions and reaching a wider audience, consistently speaking up against the rise of political oppression, Malani has been a major figure in a period of artistic globalisation. Since last five decades her work has focused on human and universal aspects of conflict, giving a voice to the stories of those marginalised by history – particularly women. A pioneer of video art in India, Malani, creates immersive installations, theatre, ephemeral wall drawings and erasure performances along with her signature ‘shadow plays’.



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