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Keynote "Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience"

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Keynote "Gandhi in the Gallery: The Art of Disobedience"

Sumathi Ramaswamy (Durham, United States)

Mohandas K. Gandhi has been described as “an artist of non-violence,” crafting a set of practices of the self and politics that earned him the mantle of Mahātma, “the great soul.” There is an enormous body of scholarship that has explored and critiqued Gandhi’s philosophy and praxis of satyāgraha, non-violent civil disobedience. Yet what does it mean to think of satyāgraha as an aesthetic regime, and its principal exponent as the paradigmatic artist of disobedience? In this presentation, I set out to answer these questions with the help of India’s modern artists who have turned to the Mahātma as their muse over the past century, but especially in recent decades. In the process, they have transformed Gandhi into an aesthetic subject worthy of artistic investment across a wide range of media ranging from painting and sculpture to video installation works and digital productions. At a time when Gandhi has been reduced to a hollow symbol and set of empty platitudes in the land of his birth, why have India’s artists lavished so much attention on the Mahātma? This is especially ironical given that in his own lifetime, Gandhi himself appeared to have had little time for the visual arts, or for artists for that matter. I reflect on this irony even as I make a conceptual argument for how the tools of visual and media history reveal the intimate connection between aesthetics, ethical action, and non-violent politics in our time.

    Date de réalisation : 24 Juillet 2018
    Durée du programme : 53 min
    Classification Dewey : Asie du Sud. Inde, Art contemporain (19-20e siècles)
    Catégorie : Conférences
    Niveau : Tous publics / hors niveau
    Disciplines : Arts
    Collections : 25th European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS)
    ficheLom : Voir la fiche LOM
    Auteur(s) : RAMASWAMY Sumathi
    producteur : Direction de l'Image et de l'Audiovisuel de l'EHESS
    Réalisateur(s) : BLERALD Serge
    Langue : Anglais
    Mots-clés : engagement politique, art contemporain, Gandhi, non violence
    Conditions d’utilisation / Copyright : © Direction de l'image et de l’audiovisuel EHESS /2018


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