LECTURES / SYMPOSIUMS
History as Form
16 September 2014
Speakers: Vivan Sundaram and Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya
In this conversation around the exhibition 'Is it What You Think? (Ruminations on Time, Memory & Site)', a show about history as form, Vivan elaborated on his five sets of work (two sets of charcoal drawings, which are referenced after the Auschwitz and the gulf war respectively and heavily influenced by cinema, and three installations) which he related to different aspects of history. One of them is The Memorial, constructed in 1993, post the Babri Masjid demolition and the Bombay riots. Vivan explicated the newly added elements to it, invoked the influences that went into its making and the impact of minimalism and suprematism on it in the company of Prof. Neeladri Bhattacharya, who has had a particular interest in understanding the politics of memory, something which is central to Vivan’s aforementioned work. He also shed some light upon the intersection of photographs, sculpture and abstraction in this installation. Prof. Bhattacharya elaborated on how history refers back to the archive, and historians, just like artists, refer back to the trace, and interpret and understand it through a narrative as well as the temporality of the works.