Readings, Talks, and Screenings
to launch the documenta 14 publication program
with South as a State of Mind #6 [documenta 14 #1]
February 10, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Harrington Street Arts Centre 8,
Ho Chi Minh Sarani
(Opposite the American Consulate, next to ICCR)
Suite No. 5 & 25B, 2nd Floor, Kolkata 700071
Featuring Deepak Ananth, Moyra Davey, Amar Kanwar, and Naveen Kishore
With Adam Szymczyk, Artistic Director, documenta 14; Quinn
Latimer, Editor-in-Chief of Publications, documenta 14; and Natasha
Ginwala, Curatorial Advisor, documenta 14
Possession and dispossession, displacement and debt-it seems that the stories that condition our
present are inextricably born out of the stories that conditioned our past. The first of four special issues of South as a State of Mind, temporarily reconfigured as the documenta 14 journal, examines forms and figures of displacement and dispossession, and the modes of resistance-aesthetic, political, literary, biological-found within them. In essays, both literary and visual, as well as poems, speeches, diaries, conversations, and specially commissioned artist projects, the first issue of the d14 South considers dispossession as a historical and contemporary condition along with its connections to archaeology and the city, coloniality and performativity, debt and imperialism, provenance and repatriation, and feminism and protest.
To launch the inaugural issue of the d14 South, documenta 14 has organized a series of public events, in Athens, Kassel, Berlin, Dhaka, and Kolkata, that bring the disparate voices of the journal, as well as those outside of it, into conversation in cities across the world. This February, South goes to India for a launch event, organized in conjunction with Seagull Books in Kolkata, on February 10, at the Harrington Street Arts Centre. For its launch in Kolkata, South has invited Seagull Books' founder and director Naveen Kishore, art historian and writer Deepak Ananth, and artists Moyra Davey and Amar Kanwar to join documenta 14's Natasha Ginwala, Quinn Latimer, and Adam Szymczyk for an evening of readings, talks, and screenings that open a dialogue into the South journal's key concerns while exploring literature as a critical art practice both within the context of Bengal and the global South, and outside of it.
Deepak Ananth, based in Paris, has written extensively on artists practicing across India and Europe, considering their visual languages in relation to situated social histories, international reception, and individual poetics. Artist and writer Moyra Davey's works in print, photography, and film explore the nature of intertextuality, travel as citation, and personal ephemera in literary as well as visual exchanges that act as memory thresholds between public and private spaces. Kolkata-based publisher Naveen Kishore is a pioneering figure in the field of independent publishing in India, bringing into circulation internationally renowned authors and Bengal's most significant fiction writers, theorists, and historians. His longstanding correspondence with a range of authors will be presented as a set of readings.
Filmmaker and artist Amar Kanwar employs film as a structural process to narrate histories of violence and division, as well as engage networks of activism, the poetry of the dispossessed, and the continuous struggles for democratic society in South Asia. He will discuss the context and reception of his work The Lightning Testimonies (2007), first presented at documenta 12, at the Assam State Museum in 2015, a collaboration with the KNMA and the Women's Rights organization, North East Network.
South as a State of Mind is a magazine that was founded by Marina Fokidis in Athens in 2012. Beginning in 2015, the magazine temporarily becomes the documenta 14 journal, publishing four semiannual special issues until the opening of the exhibition in Athens and Kassel in 2017. These special issues are edited by Quinn Latimer, documenta 14's Editor-in-Chief of Publications, and documenta 14 Artistic Director Adam Szymczyk. The documenta 14 South is conceived as a medium for research, critique, art, and literature that parallels the years of work on the d14 exhibition overall, one that helps define and frame its concerns and aims. As such, the journal is a manifestation of documenta 14 rather than a discursive lens through which to merely presage the topics to be addressed in the eventual exhibition. Writing and publishing, in all their forms, are an integral part of documenta 14, and the journal heralds that process.
Through this collaboration with documenta 14, The Seagull Foundation for the Arts continues its multifaceted role in actively supporting and disseminating arts and culture publishing, as well as critical theory. This launch event is hosted at Harrington Street Arts Centre, where Seagull has previously organized several events and exhibitions, including a forthcoming solo show by K. G. Subramanyan, titled 'Sketches, Scribbles, Drawings.'
Deepak Ananth is an art historian, critic, and curator based in Paris. He studied at The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He currently teaches at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Caen, Normandy. His curatorial projects have included exhibitions of contemporary French art, nineteenth century French painting, Surrealism, and contemporary Indian art, notably 'Indian Summer,' the first in-depth presentation of contemporary Indian art in Europe, held at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in 2005. He has written on a range of modern and contemporary European and Indian artists, mostly for museum publications.
Moyra Davey is a writer, photographer and filmmaker based in New York. Born in Toronto in 1958, she earned an MFA from the University of California, San Diego, in 1988, before attending the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at at Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge (2008); Kunsthalle Basel (2010); and Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna (2014), among other venues, and was recently included in 'Photo-Poetics: An Anthology,' Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2015).
Natasha Ginwala is a curator, researcher, and writer. Curator of the 2017 CONTOUR Biennale 8, Ginwala's recent projects include 'My East is Your West,' at the 56th Venice Biennale and
'Corruption...Everybody Knows,' with e-flux journal's SUPERCOMMUNITY issue. She was a member of the artistic team for the 8th Berlin Biennale, and from 2013 to 1015 she led, with Vivian Ziherl, 'Landings,' a curatorial project presented, in part, at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, and David Roberts Art Foundation, London. She is a Curatorial Advisor for documenta 14.
Amar Kanwar is an artist based in New Delhi, where he was born in 1964. He studied film at the Mass Communications Research Center of Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, where he began his work in documentary filmmaking and multi-channel installations. His work has been the subject of solo shows at the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2003); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2008), and Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2012). A retrospective of his cinematic work was presented at the 5th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala in India in 2012. In 2000, Kanwar was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship in India. Kanwar participated in documenta 11, documenta 12, and documenta 13, in Kassel, Germany.
Naveen Kishore is the founder and director of Seagull Books. Born in 1953, Kishore studied English literature and worked as a lighting designer in Kolkata in the 1970s, before founding Seagull Books in Kolkata in 1982. Seagull Books initially focused on art, theater, and film, as well as cultural studies and philosophy, before focusing on literature and fiction. It owns the worldwide English-language publishing rights for books by Paul Celan, Ingeborg Bachmann, Jean-Paul Sartre, Thomas Bernhard, Imre Kertész, Yves Bonnefoy, Mo Yan, Mahasweta Devi, Peter Handke, and Hans Magnus Enzensberger, and many others. In 2011 he founded the Seagull School of Publishing. He was awarded the Goethe Medal in 2013.
Quinn Latimer is an American poet, critic, and editor based in Basel and Athens. She is the author of Rumored Animals (Dream Horse Press, 2012); Sarah Lucas: Describe This Distance (Mousse Publishing, 2013); and Film as a Form of Writing: Quinn Latimer Talks to Akram Zaatari (Weils, 2014). Her writings and readings have been presented widely, including at the Serpentine Galleries, London; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland; and the Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy. She is Editor-in-Chief of Publications for documenta 14.
Adam Szymczyk is the Artistic Director of documenta 14. He studied art history at Warsaw University, and in the 1990s he participated in the curatorial studies program at De Appel, in Amsterdam. He was the Director and Chief Curator of Kunsthalle Basel from 2003 to 2014, and cocurator, with Elena Filipovic, of the 5th Berlin Biennial in 2008. He co-founded the Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw, where he served as curator from 1997 to 2003. In 2011 he was the recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement from the Menil Foundation, Houston.