8 Feb 2013

Bombay from the Ground Up, Performance Included

Guggenheim Museum recently launched an international project, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative. Presented in conjunction with the project’s inaugural exhibition No Country: Contemporary Art for South and Southeast Asia, a dynamic and growing collection of essays, images, videos, and audio recordings. This diverse and engaging set of contributions, commissioned from local experts and insiders, opens up aspects of each creator’s milieu to further thought and debate. In this context Susan Hapgood writes on performance art in India...

Bombay from the Ground Up, Performance Included

As a curator new to Mumbai, I found the metropolis thriving, fascinating—and sometimes maddening. There is a tight-knit contemporary art community in the city that has become accustomed to international curators swooping in and out like the ubiquitous Bombay crows. They flit around the city, alighting briefly to snap up morsels of sustenance. Yet no bird’s-eye view, colleague’s description, or online research could substitute for sustained experience on the ground. I arrived in India for a sabbatical of sorts in September 2010, and my method of acclimating was to call as many artists as possible right away, to find out what they were up to and who was most interesting. Within about six months, I had founded a contemporary art exhibition space known as the Mumbai Art Room, a small nonprofit that provides a platform for artistic experimentation. Read on at “Bombay from the Group Up, Performance Included”


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