Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai
A3 Alserkal Avenue, Street 8
artists & participants
18.01.2023 - 20.05.2023
Notations on Time
Soumya Sankar Bose, Sheba Chhachhi, Shezad Dawood, Ladhki Devi, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Aziz Hazara, Amar Kanwar, Ali Kazim, Mariah Lookman, Haroon Mirza, Anoli Perera, Lala Rukh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Dayanita Singh, Ayesha Sultana, Jagdish Swaminathan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, and Zarina, accompanied by an infra-vocabulary from Raqs Media Collective’s book Seepage
Sandhini Poddar, Sabih Ahmed
Ishara Art Foundation opens 2023 with Notations on Time, a group exhibition that explores the philosophical and political dimensions of time through the works of 20 contemporary artists from South Asia and its diaspora.
Curated by Sandhini Poddar and Sabih Ahmed, the exhibition stages a dialogue between artistic generations to highlight entanglements between the past, present and future. The exhibition exists as a veritable laboratory of time, exploring art in notational, experimental and fragmentary forms. Standing apart from Western notions of linearity, progress and capitalist domination, Notations on Time explores ontological systems that reveal how artists from this region and its diaspora think about aesthetics, existence, remembrance and futurity.
Where and how do we “read” time? On bodies, skins, machines, rivers, landscapes, and stars. Within wormholes in cosmic space and underground, in unseen root systems, within site-readings from archaeological and evidentiary fieldwork, within ancestry and oral traditions, within myths, folklore, and storytelling, within science fiction and mixed realities, within long-dead stars in the cosmos viewed through powerful telescopes, and so much more. The exhibition poses questions such as, “what happens when residues from the past are reincarnated into the future? Where does the jurisdiction of the present end? What is the future of the past? What possibilities can the space of an exhibition offer to think through these questions?”
Notations on Time includes works by Soumya Sankar Bose, Sheba Chhachhi, Shezad Dawood, Ladhki Devi, Gauri Gill & Rajesh Vangad, Aziz Hazara, Amar Kanwar, Ali Kazim, Mariah Lookman, Haroon Mirza, Anoli Perera, Lala Rukh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Dayanita Singh, Ayesha Sultana, Jagdish Swaminathan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara, and Zarina, accompanied by an infra-vocabulary from Raqs Media Collective’s book Seepage.
Artworks for this exhibition have been loaned from the Ishara Art Foundation and the Prabhakar Collection, the private collections of Taimur Hassan, Lekha & Anupam Poddar, and Shweta & Vikram Puri.
The exhibition has been supported by Taimur Hassan. Exhibition logistics supported by Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai), Lisson Gallery (London), and Saskia Fernando Gallery (Colombo).
About the curators
Sandhini Poddar is a London-based art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, where she is responsible for acquisitions, commissions, and research for the future museum. Previously, Poddar served on the curatorial team at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation from 2007 until 2016 as part of its international Asian Art Initiative. During her tenure, she curated ground-breaking exhibitions on modern and contemporary Asian art including, “V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life, “Being Singular Plural”, and “Anish Kapoor: Memory”. She also organized the Guggenheim’s presentation of “Zarina: Paper Like Skin”. Poddar writes on contemporary art, aesthetics, and politics and has contributed articles for magazines such as Artforum, ArtAsiaPacific, and Art India. She has post-graduate degrees from New York University and Mumbai University. Poddar recently curated “Indra’s Net” for Frieze London. She is a Trustee of South London Gallery.
Sabih Ahmed is the Associate Director and Curator at the Ishara Art Foundation in Dubai. Prior to Ishara, Ahmed was a Senior Researcher and Projects Manager at Asia Art Archive from 2009 to 2019. Over the years, he has led research and digitisation projects around artist archives, organised international conferences on art history and educational resources, and has co-curated exhibitions in Barcelona, Dhaka, Delhi, Hong Kong and Shanghai. At Ishara, he has curated exhibitions and programmes that include “Staging the Contemporary: The Next Generation,” a symposium organised in collaboration with the India Art Fair (New Delhi), Navjot Altaf: Pattern, among others. Ahmed’s writings have been published by Mousse, the Whitworth, Arts Cabinet, onCurating, and he serves on the Advisory Board of Sher-Gil Sundaram Arts Foundation, New Delhi.
About Ishara Art Foundation
Ishara Art Foundation was founded in 2019 as a non-profit organisation dedicated to presenting contemporary art of South Asia. Located in Dubai, the Foundation supports emerging and established practices that advance critical dialogue and explore global interconnections. Guided by a research-led approach, Ishara realises its mission through exhibitions, onsite and online programmes, education initiatives and collaborations in the UAE and internationally. The Foundation facilitates exchange between South Asian and international artistic networks that include museums, foundations, institutions, galleries and individuals.
Ishara Art Foundation is presented in partnership with Alserkal.