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Research Network for Transcultural Practices in the Arts and Humanities

Art & its Discourse in Trans-Culturality from the Material Turn. (Networks of Transculturality outside the Occident), Sumesh Manoj Sharma


Art and in its history in alternatives has been seen as a pressing question for biennales, museums and even art fairs. A lot has to do with burgeoning economies, change in museum discourse in a world that is globalizing and efforts to erase historic disincusion. But what were networks of transcultural conceptual exchange that held solidarities of politics, economics, and race much before the question of the transcultural political organization of the world. My focus looks at the decades that arrived just after the process of decolonization beginning in the 50s and extending onto the 90s with the liberation of South Africa. Outside the role of the Occident - North America and Western Europe, characters such as Krishna Reddy from India ,Nil Yalter from Turkey and Joe Oukam from Senegal have experienced instance of solidarity through exhibition making outside the realm of infrastructure for exhibitions in the West.  In Bombay in the 70s a cultural movement began among the untouchables of the caste system - the Dalits, they organised plays and marches at the same moment,  calling their movement the Dalit Panther Party,  inspired by the Black Panthers.  These were subaltern turns in cultural history but also material turns in conceptual practice that arose from poverty and Black consciousness.  Today museums want to codify these pasts as part of inclusion of alternative histories in art.  How do we measure inclusion and prevent future omissions?  Come hear the story of Krishna Reddy's participation in the 'Rainbow Exhibition'  that concluded in Bujumbura in 1996 .


Sumesh Sharma is an artist, curator & writer. He co-founded the Clark House Initiative, Bombay in 2010 where he presently is the curator along with being the invited curator to the biennale of African contemporary art - DakArt 2016, Senegal. His practice deals with alternate histories that are informed by the Black Arts movement, Socio-Economics, Immigration in the Francophone and Vernacular Equalities of Modernism.  He will curate a project at the Showroom, London in 2018 and the Centre George Pompidou in 2017. He has curated exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art,  Dublin,  Metropolitan Museum , New York, Kadist Art Foundation , Paris, Para Site Hong Kong, Villa Vassilieff, Paris, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, ISCP New York, Insert 2014, New Delhi among others. He has been a resident at Manifesta Online Residency, San Art, Vietnam, Cites des Arts, Paris, and was the ICI fellow for Senegal in 2014. His artist practice seeks layers through political materiality and art historical & theoretical failures while discussing the visual.