Our instinctive understanding of infrastructure is almost always associated with a certain bureaucratic blandness–of concrete, roads, money, and other material traces. Infrastructure as a spatial proposition derives from the word infra, as in something under or below–in the arts, a highly blurry plane that meets us with questions on how it came to be at multiple registers and over time. An interest in understanding infrastructure in this context, on one hand, leaves us with very precise numbers and on the other, with ghosts–why does the art sector of South Asia have its specific temporalities? How do artists and art workers move within this sector? How do we sustain ourselves? And what instances standardise infrastructure and what challenges it? In this fairly unstoried framework, the second iteration of Beyond Theory attempts to locate the experiences of women and gender minorities in shaping arts infrastructure – how have these built networks specifically influenced, discouraged, questioned, and promoted new ideas around feminist solidarities and action in our communities.
The conference will be a gathering of artists, art workers, collectives, art institutions, and representatives from grant-making bodies who will be in conversation with each other, sharing learnings and doubts on how they work with and reimagine infrastructure in the region. These conversations will hopefully reveal moments of success, but also of breakdown, of calls for systems to be relooked at and fixed. The panels will touch upon various concerns including but not limited to, the inception of arts infrastructure in the region, material and immaterial shifts that are discernible in artistic practice, instances that have led to innovation and more enduring models, changing curatorial and discursive frameworks, and more. Above all, we hope that in coming together and sharing knowledge, access, and time, this platform serves as its own infrastructure for the community.
The Beyond Theory conference is programmed in conjunction with our permanent exhibition VISIBLE/INVISIBLE: Representation of Women in Art through the MAP Collection. Drawing from the various thematic threads of the collection, the exhibition highlights, questions and frameworks in order to broaden the arguments within feminist discourse. Showcasing almost a hundred and thirty artworks, the exhibition is divided into four sections, following the exhibition narratives: Goddess and Mortal, Sexuality and Desire, Power and Violence, and Struggle and Resistance. You can check out the first iteration of the conference here.
The second iteration of the conference will take place on April 12th and 13th, 2024. We would like to invite you to take part and join us in having these conversations.
Please keep an eye out on our social media for the full programme schedule and more information. You can RSVP now via this link.
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication that includes an introductory essay by Kamini Sawhney and commissioned essays by Shukla Sawant, Vijeta Kumar and Arushi Vats.Buy Now
VISIBLE/INVISIBLE: Representation of Women in Art through the MAP Collection Feb 17, 2023 - Nov 30, 2025
Beyond Theory: Mapping Feminist Practices in the Contemporary Mar 23, 2023 - Mar 24, 2023
Fostering an embodied Abolitionist feminist praxis May 25, 2023 - May 26, 2023
Lady Anandi: Redux March 24, 2023
Tambaku Chaakila Oob Aali (Tobacco Embers) March 23, 2023